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In conjunction with IFFCBANO’s 28th Annual Conference June 1-4, 2006 at the New Orleans Royal Sonesta Hotel, the Association will present its first annual ‘Award of Excellence.’ Entities and individuals are considered as candidates who demonstrate a record of providing the most in support to the furtherance of international trade and transportation through the Port of New Orleans.

IFFCBANO is pleased to announce as the first recipient of the ‘Award of Excellence’ Mediterranean Shipping Company, S.A. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland as a privately-owned shipping line in 1970, it has expanded substantially over the years to become the second-largest carrier in respect to container slot capacity, currently operating 294 container vessels worldwide with an intake capacity of 865,890 teus. This is a spectacular growth record in view of the fact that it has been achieved internally through organic growth rather than through acquisition or merger.

Early in its history MSC established a presence in the New Orleans market, increasing container liftings substantially over the years, and in the last month bringing the largest container vessel ever to call the Port of New Orleans.

Following within three weeks of this country’s worst natural disaster (Hurricane Katrina), MSC discharged its vessel at the port’s Napoleon Avenue terminal. The MSC Sarah was the first container ship after Hurricane Katrina to use the port’s gantry cranes. This gave encouragement to the industry that the port could regain its rightful position in global trade. On an individual basis, MSC personnel worked with local brokers and forwarders, post-Katrina, to address stranded and over-carried containers and delayed deliveries as clients either repaired damaged/destroyed receiving facilities or leased/bought facilities at locations other than the original point of delivery.

Recognizing that international trade and transportation in Southeast Louisiana affords the quickest means of economic revival, IFFCBANO applauds MSC for its commitment and continued service to the trade community.