ONE Is in Business Starting Today
Japan’s “Big 3” shipping companies—K Line, MOL, and NYK— joined forces to form the joint venture Ocean Network Express (ONE). And starting today (February 1st, 2018) you can book your cargo through the merged ocean carrier. Or, better yet, you can let Universal Cargo do that for you.
ONE put out a press release with the announcement:
Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “ONE”) announces that acceptance of bookings for its container shipping service begins in stages from February 1, 2018*.
ONE is a joint venture of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as ““K” Line”), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “MOL”), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (hereinafter referred to as “NYK”) set to start its business operations on April 1, 2018.
The transition to ONE is happening in stages. As of right now, shippers can book through the newly formed entity as well as the individual shipping companies that formed the joint venture. The press release continues:
With the commencement of ONE’s business operations, there will be up to four companies, namely ONE, “K” Line, MOL, and NYK operating on the same service concurrently during the transitional period until three pre-existing lines completely stop operating vessels.
It looks like the companies are anticipating some confusion from customers in the booking process as the following was added in the press release:
If a customer makes a booking with an operator different from those in the “Booking Ownership Guide” or “Vessel Voyage Direction List”, we will attempt to coordinate between ONE and “K” Line / MOL / NYK to ensure handover to the appropriate operator upon confirmation of the customer’s intention.
It was back in 2016 that we first published a blog post about Japan’s “Big 3” carriers merging. About a year and a quarter later, it’s a reality. A reality that serves as one more example of shrinking carrier competition.
ONE is the culmination of years of the shrinking and consolidation of Japanese based shipping companies. Long-time maritime professional and valued reader and commenter on Universal Cargo blogs Gary Ferrulli commented, “In my maritime career, which started in March 1972, I’ve seen first 7, then 6 then 5, then 4, then three then ONE Japanese carrier.”
Of course, shrinking carrier competition in the international shipping industry is in no way limited to Japan. Maersk even thinks carrier competition will shrink to only 3 global companies dominating international shipping.
As long time readers of this blog know, posting about shrinking ocean carrier competition in Universal Cargo’s blog goes back a long time. Reading them gives something of an abridged history of shrinking carrier competition. Here are some of the highlight headlines you can click on for a stroll through history: