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September 05, 2006

MOL to Start Consolidation Services for IKEA Group in China

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K Lines, Ltd. (MOL, President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced that IKEA, Europe's leading furniture and interior mass merchandiser, has selected MOL to provide freight consolidation services in China. MOL will start the service for IKEA products manufactured in northern China in the middle of September.

MOL named the buyer's consolidation as "Ocean Consolidation Business (OCB)" and has been strategically promoting it to enhance customers' Supply Chain Management (SCM). IKEA selected MOL based on its excellent reputation for know-how and performance in China, particularly its expertise in providing detailed cargo information service.

MOL's approach to buyers' consolidation

Buyers' consolidation is a logistics service used by retailers in Europe and the United States, who buy products manufactured in several plants mainly in Asia. The products are consolidated into shipping containers at loading ports and then transported to their destinations. MOL Consolidation Service Ltd. (Headquarters: Hong Kong) plays a key role in offering efficient transport by consolidating small-lot and multiproduct cargo on a destination basis, resulting in much lower transportation costs compared to individual transport. In addition, MOL Consolidation Service developed an independent transport inventory control system called STARLINK, which can search cargo at stock keeping unit (SKU) levels throughout the logistics process, from ordering to delivery of products. Customers can also access the information in real time via the Internet.

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