Matson promotes Gao to oversee re-entry into transpacific market
Matson Navigation Co. has promoted Qiang Gao to director, Asia, to help oversee the U.S.-flag operator’s re-entry into the transpacific trade after an absence of 35 years.
Gao will be relocated from Matson’s headquarters in Oakland to Shanghai. His new responsibilities will include sales, customer service, government affairs, international corporate compliance and operations. Gao's duties will also include the overall operations in Shanghai and Ningbo, as well as being the main contact with Matson’s agents in both ports.
Gao joined Matson’s market planning department in 2003.
Matson intends to start a weekly service between Ningbo, Shanghai and Long Beach next February, when its 10-year vessel operating alliance in the transpacific and U.S. mainland/Guam trade agreement with APL ends. Under terms of the agreement only APL serves the transpacific trade, while Matson exclusively covers the U.S. mainland/Guam trade.
Matson, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. of Honolulu, was one of the first container operators in the transpacific until it left the trade in 1970.