NYK goes on huge expansion trail

Dec 31, 2003
Author: P&S

Japan’s largest shipping line, Nippon Yusen KK (better known as NYK), whose ships are regular callers at South African ports, has announced a major expansion plan that will see 160 new ships built within the next five years.

A total of 110 of these newbuildings will be in service by the end of the 2007 financial year, including eight ultra large container ships (ULCS) each with a capacity of 8,100-TEUs. NYK already has a programme of building nineteen 6,000-TEU container ships for completion in 2004. The eight 8,100-TEU ships represents NYK’s first step into the next generation of super container ships.

A company statement says this is in line with the long-term fleet expansion plan of the Grand Alliance to which NYK is a member – the others being Hapag-Lloyd AG, Malaysia International Shipping Corp (MISC), and P&O Nedlloyd.

Four of the 8,100-TEU ULCS’ will be built in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industry and the other four by Japan’s IHI Marine United.

The order will increase NYK’s container fleet from 74 ships at the beginning of 2003 to 89 at the end of the 2007 financial year.

Two 175,000-tonne Capesize bulk carriers have been ordered from Shanghai Waigaoquiao Shipbuilding. This constitutes NYK’s first order with a Chinese shipyard and marks a policy of diversifying its newbuilding programme among shipbuilders.

As a result of the building programme the NYK fleet will increase from its present 540 ships to 650 by March 2008, with the container fleet increasing from 74 vessels to 89.

NYK also intends renovating its fleet with the disposal of some older ships and returning others under charter during this period.

The newbuilding programme is costing the Japanese company something in the order of USD 7.16billion (Yen 770Bn) and will be financed through a number of financial processes. NYK has declined to enlarge on this point.


Between 2003 and 2007 NYK’s fleet will be increased by 160 vessels, as follows:

Containerships 15
Car Carriers 16
Dry Bulkers 72
Tankers 17
LPG Carriers 14
LNG Carriers 18
Other vessels 8
Total 160

An additional 17 used vessels including one Capesize bulker will be acquired before the end of the 2004 financial year.

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