New boss strikes sombre tone as K Line turns 100

Today marks the 100th anniversary since the founding of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Japan’s third largest shipping line. It also marks the first public speech for Yukikazu Myochin since he took the reins as president and CEO of the troubled company at the start of this month. K Line has faced shareholder revolts in recent years for its string of poor financial results. The company has recently initiated sweeping structural reforms to try and get it back into profit.

Acknowledging the current “turbulent” times for shipping, Myochin, who has spent his entire career at K Line, said today any investments going forward would be made very carefully and a priority for the company would be to rebuild its coffers.

“The series of structural reforms we have been tackling are the settling of past investments and the introduction of sophisticated business management based on reflections, in order to realize thorough risk management,” Myochin said in an address to the thousands of K Line staff around the world. “Specifically, K Line’s fleets and business risks will be assessed systematically by market performance over many years. Each investment will be evaluated by quantification by the same measure, and realistic investments will be implemented by controlling the total risk.”

Myochin went on to highlight the importance of rebuilding the company’s capital base and deploying new technologies such as artificial intelligence to help make business decisions.

VesselsValue lists the K Line fleet, excluding the boxships it has in joint venture line ONE, as standing at 188 vessels made up of 93 bulkers, one small containership, 11 tankers, 13 LNG carriers, 6 LPG ships, 56 vehicle carriers and seven OSVs.

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