Japan’s big three shippers -Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) - have reported profits for the first quarter, bouncing back from losses a year earlier Reuters reported.
Thanks to rising freight rates, the shippers showed brightened financials ahead of their integration into the Ocean Network Express (ONE) next April. The results are also raising hopes the firms could be emerging from the industry’s worst-ever downturn on record.
NYK recorded a profit attributable to owners of the parent of 5.4 billion yen (U.S. $48.9 million) for the quarter, compared to a loss of 12.79 billion yen for the corresponding quarter a year prior.
NYK said in a statement that the conditions in the container shipping market improved owing to brisk shipping traffic and steady spot rates along the European shipping routes.
MOL posted a profit attributable to owners of the parent of 5.25 billion yen, soaring 274.8 percent from FY2016’s first quarter. Revenues totaled 403.28 billion yen, while revenues in the containership unit alone stood at 180.25 billion yen, up 12 percent and 22.4 percent year-over-year, respectively.
K Line posted an operating profit of 3.9 billion yen compared with a year-ago loss of 14.8 billion yen.
From April 1, 2017, NYK, MOL and “K” Line began operating in “THE” Alliance, a vessel sharing agreement on major east-west trades, along with Hapag-Lloyd of Germany and Yang Ming of Taiwan.
Prior to that, NYK and MOL were members of the now dissolved G6 Alliance, while “K” Line was a member of CKYHE Alliance.
"The three shippers said in October that they would merge their container units to create the world’s sixth-largest fleet to better cope with a global slump that led to the collapse of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping," said the report.
Ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting’s Carrier Ranking report shows operating fleet capacity totals of 592,788 TEUs for NYK, 553,047 TEUs for MOL and 349,616 TEUs for “K” Line.