Esbjerg, Denmark, March 2015 – Leading marine and fire safety equipment and service provider, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment (VIKING) is stocking ready-packaged liferafts to provide fixed-price liferaft exchange to vessels calling Japanese ports.
“The world of shipping is dominated by a small group of countries, ” says Henrik Uhd Christensen, CEO of VIKING Life-Saving Equipment. “Japan rates in the top three in terms of deadweight tonnage and newbuilding, so locally based shipowners have a broad set of needs for marine safety. To answer these needs, we have moved to extend our capabilities in the region – further it will also allow us to offer exchanges for the many foreign vessels calling Japanese ports.”
The new investment in safety servicing infrastructure comes on the tails of a sole agency agreement signed between the safety equipment manufacturer and Japan’s MOL Techno-Trade (MOLTECH) in November 2013. The agreement enabled MOLTECH to offer the full range of VIKING safety solutions, including industry-leading Shipowner Agreement (SOA) contracts. Popular with shipowners around the world, a SOA combines global product availability and servicing with financing in fixed price structures – and with service schedules managed from a single point of contact at VIKING.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to offer fixed-price liferaft exchange agreements in Japan itself, ” says Henrik Uhd Christensen. “Previously, shipowners sailing under international flags had to call in at nearby ports in Korea, for example, to enjoy the benefits of the VIKING SOA fixed-price exchange programme.”
VIKING has already enjoyed many years of representation on the Japanese market. During this time, the role of existing distributors has remained largely unchanged, although distribution is now under the overall control of MOLTECH.
VIKING’s CEO is confident that Japanese shipowners with vessels sailing under foreign flags will welcome the new opportunity to simplify and streamline liferaft servicing: “As usual, the attraction is the predictability of costs under this type of agreement. We are building up a sizeable stock of exchange liferafts now. And in fact, we’ve already conducted the first exchanges with Japanese management companies, and we expect to sign several more agreements in the near future.”
Minoru Kusano, Director at MOLTECH sees VIKING’s expansion not only as a positive development for Japanese shipowners who have vessels sailing under foreign flags, but also as a strong statement of satisfaction with the partnership between the two companies.
“We entered into the alliance with VIKING because we saw a need in the Japanese market for a range of safety equipment and services that wasn’t able to be provided by anyone else, ” he says. “This latest investment is another step in our joint commitment to bringing the very best safety solutions.”
VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S is a global market leader in maritime and offshore safety, providing and servicing safety and fire-fighting equipment for passenger and cargo ships, offshore installations, fishing vessels, the navy, fire departments and leisure yachts.
VIKING is a privately held corporation founded in 1960 with group headquarters in Esbjerg, Denmark. Products are manufactured in Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria and Thailand.
VIKING offers a broad range of off-the-shelf and tailored safety solutions and systems certified in accordance with the latest requirements of the IMO, SOLAS, EU and USCG. The product portfolio includes chute and slide-based marine and offshore evacuation and crew transfer systems, liferafts, lifejackets, immersion suits, fire suits, work suits, pilot suits, helicopter transportation suits, MOB boats, davits, pilot ladders, signs, and other lifesaving appliances.
VIKING Shipowner Agreements offer uniquely customizable concepts that incorporate safety products, global servicing, single-source management, and financing in a variety of fixed price structures.
With 2, 000 employees worldwide, the unique VIKING network of branch offices, agents, 270 certified servicing stations and worldwide stock points makes VIKING a truly global provider at convenient locations in all significant markets.
MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd. (MOLTECH) is a technology trading company that provides expertise and technology to meet a wide range of needs on land and at sea. MOLTECH is a core member of the MOL Group, one of the world’s largest ocean shipping groups. As the trading section of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, which has the world’s largest scale of ships, MOLTECH provides spare parts and equipment together with energy-saving products within Japan and overseas.www.motech.co.jp