"K" Line America Inc.

"K" Line America Inc.

President and chief executive

www.k-line.com

Last year was a challenging but rewarding one for ocean carriers. I am looking now with optimism toward 2004, but it is important to walk with open eyes through the world of shipping.

I am sure that the industry will be faced with old and new challenges, but we'll be ready to cope with it.

The North American business is certainly driven by imports, and I expect that this will continue in 2004 in correlation with a growing and sound U.S. economy. In 2004 we'll see only a marginal increase on the supply side that should warrant stable freight rates for rendered services. Customer service will remain a prime challenge for us as we maintain our philosophy that the customers are entitled to the best service.

Security will be on our minds in 2004 and for many years to come. Only teamwork between the American people, the port authorities and ship operators will ensure smooth sailings. We need to be ready to address environmental issues with our customers. This will be a long-term strategy, supported by our worldwide organization; the process has started, and the clock is ticking.

We walk with new and better ideas into 2004 to further enhance customer satisfaction. The pursuit of excellence will be the key topic in our day-to-day business. Supply-chain management will be a great part of this, and "success will be my goal."