NMC, LSC forms JV for cargo-handling chores

Sister firms Lorenzo Shipping Corp. (LSC) and NMC Container Lines (NMC) have formed a joint venture to handle all the companies’ cargo handling chores nationwide. The JV, which will be named One Team Services, Inc., will be a 50-50 sharing agreement between the two Magsaysay-owned local cargo handling operators.

“One Team Services, Inc. will develop competencies to eventually handle the cargo-handling requirements of LSC and NMC in various locations in the Philippines,” listed firm LSC said in its report to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

It added that the JV will also be responsible in the management of container yards and related support services for the two firms.

“The expected benefits to LSC arising from the operations of the One Team Services, Inc. include operational efficiency and long-term cost effectiveness,” LSC added in the report.

In November 2004, the firm of shipping magnate Magsaysay-Ho, Na­tional Marine Corp. (NMC), bought the 28.68% stake of Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines, Ltd.

Magsaysay-Ho upped the stake by middle of the same year and said her firm wants the entire Lorenzo Shipping and had entered a voting trust agreement with some of its ma­jor shareholders, including Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corp., which holds about 20% stake.

The integration of the several of the operations of the two firms, on the other hand, has been delayed after NMC ac­quired LSC since the company wants to operate the two firms as different entities.

As of this time, however, plans remain the same and the merger of the two firms into one company, is still a remote possibility at least in the near-term.

Earlier, NMC and LSC president Roberto Umali said there will be no significant expansion programs for both NMC and LSC aside from vessel replacement and route expan­sion explaining that cargo volume is not enough to support whatever expansion programs of any shipping firm at least in the next couple of years.

As of the moment, LSC maintains a market share of 15%. Currently, LSC operates MV Lorcon Dumaguete, MV Lorcon Cagayan de Oro, MV Lorcon Davao, MV Lorcon Visayas, MV Lorcon Cebu, MV Lorcon Manila and MV Lorcon Zamboanga that ply the Cebu, Davao, General San­tos, Cotabato, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Dum­aguete, and Bacolod routes.

NMC, on the other hand, is strategically mapped in six of the country’s major economic ports – Manila, Batangas, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and General Santos wherein areas of operations are all ISO 9001:2008 certified.