Japan's top three shippers -Nippon Yusen KK (NYK), Mitsui OSK Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha - appear on course for net profit in fiscal 2017, buoyed by better market conditions and restructuring efforts, Reuters reported.
The brighter outlook comes amid a gradual recovery in prices for shipping containers, which carry 90 percent of the world’s manufactured goods.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines likely will achieve a net profit of about 10 billion yen ($90 million) in the current year, up from an expectation of breaking even for the year ended in March, according to Nikkei.
A company release said that some improvements in the supply and demand environment on Asia-North America, Asia-Europe
and Asia-South America routes facilitated a recovery in the spot freight rates. It cautioned, however, that the container market “continued to be difficult overall.”
Nippon Yusen also is seen logging several billion yen in net profit, rebounding from a projected net loss of 245 billion yen.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha also looks likely to be in the black on a pretax and net basis, after an expected pretax loss of 47 billion yen for fiscal 2016.
The big three expects a combined operating profit of 57.5 billion yen ($517.32 million) in the year to March 31 compared with a 61.6 billion loss in the business year just ended.
To survive the downturn, the three Japanese shippers in October said they would merge their container units to create the world´s sixth-largest fleet.