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December 18, 2009

MOL Starts International Freight Forwarding and Consolidation Services for Belk, Inc.

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced that Belk, Inc., the largest privately owned mainline department store company in the U.S., has selected Hong Kong-based MOL Consolidation Service Limited (MCS) as its freight forwarder and consolidator throughout China, India, Cambodia, Vietnam and other locations around the world where Belk sources the manufacturing of its private brand merchandise.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. operates more than 300 fashion department stores in 16 contiguous Southern states and reported sales of $3.5 billion in its past fiscal year. Belk said it selected MCS because of its track record in providing international freight forwarding and consolidation services and its global service network and cargo information service.

Diane Hartjes, Belk, Inc. director of private brands operations, said, "During a recent visit to Asia, I was very impressed with MCS's ability to work with our overseas factories and assist us in implementing critical new programs aimed at improving vendor performance. As we continue to evaluate and optimize our supply chain, MCS turned out to be the perfect fit for our overseas consolidation and freight forwarding services. We are excited about entering this new partnership."

Creating more efficient transport service

MOL has provided buyers consolidation services since its start in 2003, with its MOL Consolidation Service (MCS) group company playing a core role. In 2008, MCS was selected as MOL's brand name for the consolidation service.

MCS's buyers consolidation service transports products purchased by European and U.S. retailers and apparel companies from suppliers in China and Southeast Asia via ports in Asia. The company's STARLINK cargo information service and other value-added services such as product inspection and bar code reading are available throughout those regions.

MOL continues to win business from customers, setting the stage for steady growth with its extensive network, state-of-the-art IT capabilities, and carefully developed, customer-focused services.

About Belk, Inc.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. is the nation's largest privately owned mainline department store company with 306 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. Its Belk.com Web site provides convenient online shopping for customers and offers a wide assortment of fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home.

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