American Shipper

Japan’s ‘Big 3’ to operate as Ocean Network Express

The Ocean Network Express, comprised of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd., and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, is scheduled to commence April 1, 2018.

   Japan’s three major shipping companies – Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) – will operate their joint venture under the trade name “Ocean Network Express,” the carriers said Wednesday.
   The new joint venture will integrate the three companies’ container shipping businesses. This will include worldwide terminal operations businesses, excluding those in Japan.
   The service commencement date for the Ocean Network Express, which some analysts and media outlets are already calling “ONE” for short, is April 1, 2018, and the establishment of the new joint venture will officially be announced after all anti-trust reviews are finalized.
   The three carriers announced their intentions to integrate their container shipping businesses on Oct. 31, 2016.
   The establishment of a holding company is planned in Japan, while an operating company is planned to be incorporated in Singapore. Regional headquarters of the operating company will be set up in Singapore; Hong Kong; London; Richmond, Va.; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. NYK’s container business is currently based in Singapore, while “K” Line’s U.S. headquarters is in Richmond, Va.
   “K” Line, MOL and NYK have already established a new website for their joint venture.
   All three carriers are members of “THE” Alliance, a vessel sharing agreement on major east-west trades that also includes Hapag-Lloyd of Germany, which finalized its merger with United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) last week, and Yang Ming of Taiwan.
   According to ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting’s Carrier Ranking Report, based on operating fleet capacity, NYK is the eighth largest carrier in the world with 594,699 TEUs, while MOL comes in at 11th with 540,942 TEUs and “K” Line takes 14th place with 353,220 TEUs.