Home' Ships and Shipping : July 2009 Contents The following message is quoted from MOL
President Akimitsu Ashida’s speech on the occasion
of Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) 125th anniversary on
April 1, 2009.
While the average company’s lifespan is
commonly said to be around 30 years,
MOL has grown and evolved over a
period four times greater.
The world economy is currently in what
has been called a once-in-a -century crisis,
but in its lifetime MOL has overcome many
serious ordeals and difficulties – the Great
Depression of the early thirties, World War
II, the oil crisis of the seventies, the sharp
appreciation of the Japanese Yen after the
Plaza Accord in 1985, and others.
Now, we are facing an economic crisis
such as none of us have ever experienced. But
there is a saying that “every cloud has a silver
lining.” Global seaborne trade has fallen, but
the world economy will certainly recover and
ocean shipping will return to growth sooner
or later. [Mitsui OSK Lines] has moved swiftly
to adjust its fleet size as an emergency
response to the current declining cargo traffic.
While our initial fleet plan to reach 1,200
vessels by 2012 will now be slightly delayed,
we are continuing our preparations to
expand ship management capabilities to
accommodate our original plan.
Cash-flow is as important
With our healthy financial base
achieved by strong and stable profits over
recent years, in the new fiscal year ... I
would like to maintain our profits at a level
which ensures we can continue to stand
strong and ride out the tough business
climate we are in. To achieve this goal, we
must respond nimbly to market
movements and changes. Under the
current tight financial market conditions,
we must pay closer attention to cash-flow.
While our company profit level was
minimal prior to year 2000, cash-flow was
almost balanced, with the replacement of
existing vessels being a major facility
investment. After year 2000, when our
profits increased, pushing up our cash-flow,
we were able to embark on a major fleet
expansion plan using the cash generated by
these profits. By doing this, we were able to
dramatically enhance the fundamental
strength of our business operations.
However, in order for us to continue
receiving the vessels we contracted before
the current economic collapse, we must
maximise operating cash-flow and keep our
finances in good shape.
The entire world is our
The business field MOL operates in is
worldwide and we must take the approach
that the entire world is our local market at
arm’s length. In such a large market,
opportunities for MOL’s growth and
expansion abound. The key to our growth
strategy is to seize, without fail or
hesitation, opportunities as they arise.
When the international shipping
industry returns to the growth track, we
can expect the lineup of major players to
be quite different from that of today.
Only shipping companies operating with
reinforced cost competitiveness will be
able to survive. To prepare for the new
circumstances we find ourselves in, we
need to remain one step ahead of the
competition and continually search for
new and bold ways to strengthen our
For further information contact:
Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan.
Web: www.mol.co .jp
SHIPS AND SHIPPING July 2009 25
MOL’s Ashida: “Ever y cloud has a silver lining”
Mitsui OSK Lines President Akimitsu Ashida
Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) recently announced the installation of
an automatic monitoring system for reefer containers at the
Tokyo International Container Terminal (TICT).
MOL and Wilco jointly demonstrated the system, which
automatically monitors the temperature in each reefer container.
The system relies on power lines to automatically transmit
information from modems on containers to monitors in the
terminal office. The signals travel over the same power lines that
supply electricity to the reefer containers.
Until now, the temperature in the reefer container was
controlled by connecting a special cable for monitoring or by
periodic visual checks. Installation of the new system ensures safe
and reliable control of temperature in the reefer container by
automatically monitoring over a 24-hour period. The monitored
data is stored, so terminal personnel can track time-oriented
changes in temperature.
MOL plans to install the reefer container auto-monitoring
system at its operated container terminals in Japan and
For further information contact:
Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan. Web: www.mol.co .jp
MOL’s auto-monitoring system sends and receives data modulated at a high
frequency, through power lines, eliminating the need to install new dedicated
lines and allowing development of a new data telecommunication network
using existing power lines
Reefer auto monitoring system at TICT
focus on JAPAN
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