Moves by Samskip Reefer Logistics to build a stronger presence in the Asian market have taken a major step forward with the appointment of Interocean Shipping Corporation, a Tokyo-based agency organisation, to represent Samskip in Japan, one of the world’s most vital and demanding perishables and frozen fish markets.
The agreement, which was signed by Peder Winther, CEO Samskip Reefer Logistics, and Kenta Kitamura, CEO of Interocean Shipping Corporation, will enable Samskip to maintain its pattern of strategic growth in the region which has seen the Icelandic company open branch offices in Qingdao and Dalian, China; Pusan and Seoul, South Korea; and in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Interocean Shipping Corporation is a highly respected and professional organisation established in 1948 by the Kitamura family, which is therefore set to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2008. From the outset, Interocean Shipping Corporation has served the Japanese fish trading and fish processing sectors although it subsequently developed expertise in other sectors including furniture and automobiles.
Mr Kitamura commented:
“We are pleased to be part of the Samskip agency network. In the past, Interocean has cultivated longterm relationships with dominant Japanese importers and exporters, especially in the frozen seafood industry but also in other refrigerated commodity sectors such as meat, fruit and vegetables.
“When it comes to imports of frozen seafood, Japan has had long relationships with Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the Netherlands. Since Samskip is so strong in these markets, this agreement is very important for Interocean.”
Mr Kitamura continued:
“Besides focusing on forwarding reefer containers ex Europe to the Far East and Japan, this agreement also creates opportunities for intra-Asian business. Once produce is processed at fish factories in Asia and is ready for dispatch, Interocean Shipping Corporation will co-ordinate the transport with Samskip Reefer Logistics for final delivery inside Asia or for export to Europe or the US.”
Mr Johan Kloosterboer, Managing Director, Samskip Coldstore Division, said:
“With this agency agreement, both companies are expressing the wish to expand their market share, knowledge and network on a global scale.
“Since Samskip expanded its coldstore activities in 2005 with the acquisition of Kloosterboer Cold Stores, it has much better opportunities to offer an integrated product, covering all aspects of the logistical cool chain, both on an end-to-end basis and on a global scale.
“Interocean will act as an extension of our sales force for Japanese fish companies and now officially represents the Samskip Group in Japan.”
Samskip now controls coldstores in IJmuiden and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Alesund in Norway, Kollafjor?ur in the Faroe Islands and Reykjavik in Iceland as well as in Bayside in Canada.
Samskip reports that the first container bookings have already been made. Frozen fish in cartons was loaded in IJmuiden and shipped via Rotterdam to the Japanese port of Tomakomai. The bookings were made by Samskip Reefer Logistics IJmuiden BV.