New owners of Marianas Express Lines introduced


A cocktail party was held to introduce to the community the new owner of Marianas Express Lines, Ltd.

Pacific International Lines, who took major shareholder status of MELL last March 10, is the new business partner of Tan Holdings.

PIL is the 18th largest shipping company in the world.

“With PIL, MELL is linked with the global network. MELL is a regional carrier, and PIL is a global carrier and the people of the CNMI are now linked to the whole world. We can procure anything from the world, and PIL/MELL can bring them to CNMI, Guam, and Micronesia,” Luen Thai Enterprise CEO and MELL vice chair Willie Tan said.

“We’re very fortunate to have them on board,” Joven Cruz, station manager for CTSI Logistics, Inc. said.

CTSI operates as MELL’s agent in the Western Pacific and other countries in Asia.

Tan noted that MELL is the only carrier that serves CNMI on a weekly basis and that it is “part of our economic support.”

“It was only 18 short years ago that Mariana Express Lines became the first liner company to provide weekly shipping service to Guam. Our competitors thought we were crazy and predicted that MELL would be out of business within a year. Well, 18 years later, I am happy and proud to say that our competitors were wrong and we are still here today,” Tan said.

He added that he is very pleased with MELL’s new partnership.

“[The new owners] have assured me that PIL will back MELL’s requirements and such service will be sustainable. I am very pleased with such partnership,” he said.

Also present during the event last June 5 at the Hibiscus Hall of Fiesta Resort and Spa were PIL deputy managing director Chor Kee Tan, MELL general manager Raymond Hew, Tan Holdings president Jerry Tan, and its executive vice president George Chiu.

“It’s good for the community because they have a vast network,” Cruz said, “We have more options; we have more access to several origins.”

He added that the CNMI’s business community will have other options in terms of where to outsource their products.

“It will lead to more diversity in terms of what we get. It may also be better in terms of cost if they can actually get a better pricing from a different source as opposed to their current source,” he said.

“With efficiency, the goods should be cheaper eventually as business people can plan their inventory requirements,” Tan added.

Customers were also invited to the event, which also served as a way to appreciate and thank them.

PIL bought the Au family’s stake in MELL, gaining ownership in the business. Luen Thai Holdings Limited, of which CTSI Logistics is a subsidiary, is still a minority stakeholder of MELL.

In a prior press release by MELL, it said that PIL leadership assured the former’s clients that it shall continue to operate under the same brand and regular business operations will not be affected.

MELL is a container line operator specializing in niche markets within the Asia-Pacific region including Micronesia, Guam, Saipan, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and Australia.

This article was originally authored by Frauleine S. Villanueva of the Saipan Tribune and published on June 16th, 2015. All rights, recognition and acknowledgment are belong to the author and the Saipan Tribune.