Home » Maritime » Neptune Orient Lines celebrates its first 35 years

SINGAPORE Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong recently celebrated the first 35 years of his former company, Neptune Orient Lines – launching a book telling the stories of NOL’s growth from humble beginnings to a US$5 billion global transportation and logistics enterprise.

PM Goh, who was one of the early NOL pioneers, joining the Company in 1969 and subsequently becoming Managing Director before leaving for politics in 1977, launched Beyond Boundaries at a function at the landmark Fullerton Building – where the company’s first offices were located. Among the guests at the function were former NOL Chairmen, Michael Wong Pakshong and Lua Cheng Eng, and the company’s first Managing Director, MJ Sayeed. In thanking the Prime Minister, NOL Group President & CEO, David Lim said, “The success and global scale of NOL today is something our founding fathers could only have dreamed about in 1968. “We started out with relatively modest ambitions – to establish a national shipping line, offering local shippers fair freight rates. But it wasn’t easy and Beyond Boundaries includes stories of the unwavering faith and tenacity of our people as the fledgling company battled against the odds to gain a foothold in the shipping industry,” Lim said. “NOL has through the years attracted people who thought beyond the boundaries and the barriers they faced, dreamed big dreams, planned and prepared – and created the company you see today. It is a proud tradition that we strive to maintain today.”

NOL Chairman, Cheng Wai Keung, said, “NOL people have had the imagination to see opportunities and the courage to seize them, and to tackle and overcome obstacles along the way.

“Judging from our recent results, our management and staff have lost none of that determination to be among the very best,” Cheng said. “Today as we look forward to our next 35 years and beyond, we do so as a company that has gone beyond its early boundaries, and now operates in more than 140 countries around the world. In addition, we are able today to draw on the combined strength of a culturally diverse and talented management and staff worldwide to achieve our goals.”

David Lim also announced the establishment of the NOL Beyond Boundaries Trust Fund, which aims to help youth and disadvantaged people worldwide overcome barriers to their achievement. “The aims of the NOL Beyond Boundaries Trust reflect the spirit of the Company, and the Trust itself is a natural extension of the long-standing commitment we have to the communities in which we operate, and our wider social responsibility programmes,” he said.

Lim said NOL was matching donations to the Trust made at the launch three-to-one, as well as donations contributed before the end of August by the Company’s staff globally.

The first project to benefit from the Trust is Sailability Singapore – a sailing program that gives people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the sport. Trust funding will support a team of disabled sailors to represent Singapore at the Athens Paralympic Games in September. NOL volunteers have supported the Sailabilty program since its inception in 2001.

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