NYK, "K" Line Alter Container Ship Orders.
Two of Japan"s largest shipping firms, NYK and ?K? Line, reached agreements with shipbuilders to convert some container ship orders to orders for bulk carriers and other vessels, as demand for container shipping is expected to take time to make a full-fledged recovery.
NYK agreed with Japan's IHI Marine United and South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries to convert seven of its 14 container ship orders to orders for three bulk carriers, two very large crude carriers and two product tankers that carry naphtha and other petroleum products.
?K" Line agreed to convert five of its 31 container ship orders placed with various shipbuilding companies to orders for bulk carriers.
A spokesman for NYK, Japan's largest shipping firm by sales, confirmed the agreement with Japan's IHI Marine United, a wholly owned shipbuilding subsidiary of IHI, and South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries. The spokesman said that the alteration of the container ship orders is in line with the company's policy of "downsizing its container ship fleet and changing to a light asset business," stipulated in its current medium-term management plan.
The seven ships to be built under the altered orders are scheduled to be completed between fiscal 2011, which starts in April 2011, and fiscal 2012, the NYK spokesman said, requesting that he not be named.
A spokesman for "K" Line, Japan's third-largest shipping firm by sales, said its 26 container ships and five bulk carriers are scheduled to be completed between fiscal 2010 and 2012.
The "K" Line spokesman refused to name a shipbuilding company or shipbuilding companies involved in the alteration of the container ship orders. The Nikkei, Japan's biggest business daily, reported in its Wednesday morning edition, citing unidentified sources, that "K" Line has reached the container ship order alteration agreements with multiple shipbuilding companies, including HHI.