The Japan Times

Japan’s major shipping companies log record profits

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Japan’s three major shipping companies have reported record consolidat­ed net profits for the fiscal year that ended in March as transporta­tion prices soared on logistics disruption­s and stay-at-home demand linked to the pandemic.

Their net profits for fiscal 2021 jumped sixfold to eightfold from the previous year.

But Nippon Yusen K.K., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. expect their profits to fall about 30% in fiscal 2022, with the price rise seen halting from around the second half of the year.

In fiscal 2021, profits surged at a container ship operator jointly owned by the three companies thanks to the higher transporta­tion prices, boosting the trio’s performanc­es.

Net profits shot up 7.2 times to ¥1.01 trillion at Nippon Yusen, passing ¥1 trillion for the first time. The bottom line jumped 7.9 times to ¥708.8 billion at Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and 5.9 times to ¥642.4 billion at Kawasaki Kisen.

Revenue grew 41.8% to ¥2.28 trillion at Nippon Yusen, 28.0% to ¥1.27 trillion at Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and 21.0% to ¥756.9 billion at Kawasaki Kisen.

Nippon Yusen Executive Officer Toru Maruyama told reporters on Monday that transporta­tion prices stayed at high levels on the back of growth in the volume of transport from Asia to the United States. Profits reached “totally unexpected levels,” he added.

Last year, there was a severe shortage of truck drivers and other logistics industry personnel in the United States due to the spread of novel coronaviru­s infections. Many cargo ships had to wait a long time to enter ports.

This led to a global shortage of vessels and a surge in transporta­tion prices.

The three companies expect the situation to return to normal as early as summer. But the industry’s outlook remains uncertain due to factors such as COVID-19 lockdowns in China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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