MOL Logistics, the non-vessel owning common carrier (NVOCC) unit of Japanese shipping group Mitsui OSK Lines, has launched a proprietary lashing product to better secure steel coils that are transported in containers.
Launching MOL Coilporter, which was jointly developed between MOL Logistics and MOL Techno-Trade, is part of MOL's wider strategy to expand its NVOCC business.
Customers of MOL Logistics, MOL’s short-sea general cargo shipping unit, Mitsui OSK Kinkai and associated logistics provider Utoc Corporation, had requested solutions to ensure safer containerised transport of steel coils, an essential material for the automobile manufacturing and other industries.
Comparing MOL Coilporter with conventional lashings which take up to an hour to assemble, the product can be fixed to the cargoes in three minutes.
While the square timbers of conventional lashings are in direct contact with coils, subjecting the cargo to risk of damage, MOL Coilporter is made with Eperan, a foamed polyethylene product developed by Kaneka Corporation. Eperan has strong cushioning properties, resiliency and is lightweight.
Unlike conventional lashings, which involve using special equipment to load the cargoes into the inner depths of the container, MOL Coilporter can be pushed into the container without needing special equipment.
The unloading process is also simpler as the cargo can be pulled out from the container, while conventionally lashed cargoes need special equipment to be removed from deep inside the container. The system has been patented in Japan, with several other patents pending.
The MOL group is expanding its NVOCC business under the group’s unified brand MOL Worldwide Logistics (MWL).
In May 2020, MOL Logistics will commence service using MOL Coilporter as a differentiated product as part of its door-to-door NVOCC service.
Besides shipments on the NVOCC service, pan-Japanese container liner operator Ocean Network Express (ONE), in which MOL has a 31% stake, will also use MOL Coilporter to transport steel coils, following some trial shipments.