We would like to express our heartfelt sympathies to those who lost loved ones in the Great East Japan Earthquake, and extend our best wishes to other affected people. In this section, we introduce how we have responded since the disaster to ensure business continuity, how we have supported the disaster- hit regions, and what we are doing to strengthen our risk management system for future disasters.
MOL's Response After the Earthquake
Earthquake Task Force and Support Headquarters
The day after the earthquake occurred, we established the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake (Great East Japan Earthquake) Task Force and Support Headquarters, chaired by the president. We ensured business continuity by minimizing the damage to the MOL Group, while simultaneously establishing a system for providing rapid support for the disaster-hit region.
Confirming Safety of Operated Vessels
Immediately following the earthquake, all relevant personnel were assembled at MOL's Safety Operation Supporting Center (SOSC). The center, which is engaged in year-round, 24-hour monitoring of the position and movement of operated vessels, quickly went about confirming the safety of operated vessels and providing tsunami information. All vessels operated by MOL were not involved in any serious marine incidents resulting from the earthquake or the subsequent tsunami.
Verifying the Safety of Employees
We immediately verified the safety and well-being of all employees of MOL and their families, as well as all employees of Group companies.
Support for Disaster-hit Regions
Transporting JSDF Vehicles and Troops by Ferry
Group company MOL Ferry Co., Ltd. transported some 3,700 Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) troops and about 1,260 emergency vehicles for providing relief to the disaster-hit regions. Four ferries made a total of 10 trips from the port of Tomakomai to the port of Aomori from March 13 to March 22, 2011.
MOL Press Release:
MOL Ferry Helps Transport JSDF Personnel, Vehicles
Free Emergency Support for Relief Supplies
Immediately after the earthquake, there were severe shortages of food and daily necessities in the disaster-hit regions. Drawing on our MOL Group network and transport capabilities, MOL procured (19 10-ton truck loads of) relief supplies and delivered them free of charge to customers and municipalities in the disaster-hit regions. Free Transport of Relief Supplies from Abroad Responding to requests for transport of relief supplies from overseas, MOL provided free transport services for supplies sent from other countries. We transported the equivalent of 36 20-foot containers filled with drinking water, bedding, masks and other supplies to the disasterhit regions free of charge, as well as large quantities of building materials for temporary housing at special rates.
MOL Press Release:
MOL Group Companies Transport Aid Supplies to Quake-stricken Areas
Free Transport of Relief Supplies from Abroad
Responding to requests for transport of relief supplies from overseas, MOL provided free transport services for supplies sent from other countries. We transported the equivalent of 36 20-foot containers filled with drinking water, bedding, masks and other supplies to the disasterhit regions free of charge, as well as large quantities of building materials for temporary housing at special rates.
Donations for Disaster Relief
- MOL donated a total of ¥50 million for immediate disaster relief to Iwate Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, Fukushima Prefecture and the Japanese Red Cross Society.
- Donations were solicited from executives, employees and seafarers in the MOL Group, and a total of approximately ¥63 million was raised and donated for relief and recovery efforts to the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Central Community Chest of Japan and other organizations.
MOL Press Release:
MOL Raises ¥55 Million to Assist Rescue and Relief Efforts
Cruise Ship Fuji Maru Supports Relief Efforts
From April 11 to April 17, 2011, MOL arranged for the ocean-going cruise ship Fuji Maru to call in at several ports in Iwate Prefecture that were severely damaged by the tsunami: Ofunato, Kamaishi and Miyako. The Fuji Maru provided nutritionally-balanced meals for afflicted people, a large public bath and cabins as private space free of charge. A total of 4,451 people used these amenities. Messages of support from MOL executives and employees and 13 overseas bases were displayed inside the vessel. We received many messages of appreciation from people who used the Fuji Maru during the port visits.
MOL Press Release:
Update report on Cruise Ship Fuji Maru Calls at Ports in Iwate Prefecture
Donation of Refrigerated Containers
The tsunami triggered by the massive earthquake destroyed many cold-storage facilities in fishing ports, so we received requests from affected ports to supply refrigerated containers as substitute facilities. To help support the fishing industry's recovery, we donated a total of 27 refrigerated containers (as of May 31, 2012) to the disaster-hit areas.
MOL's Risk Management System
The company has formulated a business continuity plan (BCP*) documenting specific procedures to enable it to continue providing its core ocean transport services without interruption, or quickly restore operations to pre-disaster levels in preparation for an unexpected event. In the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster, or outbreak of an infectious disease, MOL's highest priority is ensuring the safety of MOL-operated vessels and company executives and employees. The company has prepared a "Disaster and Earthquake Response Manual" outlining procedures for implementing this BCP in readiness for an emergency. As a result of these daily efforts, the company's risk management functioned well when the earthquake struck, enabling us to continue business and quickly provide support to the disaster-hit areas. We introduce below some of our key measures for ensuring business continuity.
(*)Business Continuity Plan: A plan that establishes response measures necessary for ensuring the continuity of core operations when a disaster occurs.
We designated MOL Nakamurabashi employee housing (Nerima Ward, Tokyo), Tsurumi employee housing (Yokohama City), Minami-Kashiwa company housing (Kashiwa City) and Kakio Institute (Kawasaki City) as satellite offices to back up Head Office functions. These offices are equipped with IT systems to continue pre-determined priority tasks. They also have satellite phones for maintaining communications.
Drills at Satellite Offices
We checked the operation of e-mail and the company's main systems at the satellite offices, and confirmed operations were functioning normally. Furthermore, we established a backup system outside the Kanto region in the company's Kansai branch in Osaka for safe operation of company-operated vessels, which is our core task.
We have prepared the MOL BCP Summary, an abridged version of the "Disaster and Earthquake Response Manual." This summary contains information on the initial steps MOL executives and employees should take in a disaster. Furthermore, to ensure that correct knowledge and information is shared among executives and employees in a disaster, we publish an e-mail magazine containing information related to disaster prevention in general, including the need to make regular preparations during ordinary times. This magazine is available on our internal portal site.
Accident response drills are held to further solidify MOL's emergency response system. The drills are held twice a year at the head office and simulate a large-scale marine incident.
Ongoing Initiatives Through Our Main Business
The Great East Japan Earthquake had a major impact on business activities and daily living in the form of energy shortages, causing increased demand for petroleum products and alternative energy sources like liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal. Moreover, drinking water, housing materials and other supplies were imported in large quantities. As one of the largest shipping companies in the world with a diverse fleet of LNG carriers, crude oil and petrochemical product tankers, dry bulkers, containerships and more, MOL has worked since the earthquake to meet this transport demand.
We will continue contributing to the recovery and reconstruction of the disasterhit regions and to the stability and growth of the world economy through our main business, transporting resources, energy sources and products for Japan and other countries around the world.