New NYK President Positive about Growth

Tadaaki Naito

By Wendy Laursen 2015-04-19 20:36:52

Tadaaki Naito took on the presidency of Japanese shipping line NYK Line on April 16, 2015. Speaking of the future last week he highlighted the company’s differentiation strategy achieved through a wide range of marine, land and air services beyond the boundaries of traditional shipping. 

In April 2014, the company launched its medium-term management plan, “More Than Shipping 2018 — Stage 2 Leveraged by Creative Solutions.” 

“Looking back to the origins of this strategy, you can see that our basic awareness hasn’t changed since the formulation of our medium to long-term group management vision, NYK21, approximately 30 years ago,” said Naito. 

“Since then, we have considered business diversification, such as expansion into logistics, to be essential in order to continue to grow in the 21st century. This transformation has required us to become a diverse, integrated logistics company focusing on all areas of distribution, rather than relying on the liner trade alone.”


Naito recognized the importance of the post-recession market to the company’s current position. Supported by a strong logistics demand from China in the mid-2000s, shipping companies progressed proactively with fleet adjustment, he said. However, this left an over-investment in tonnage once the global recession that began in 2008. 

“Considering that we are still burdened by this legacy, I believe that it is important to calmly and prudently verify in our investment decision-making process that we are fully in control of business profitability, or in other words, that we are not excessively dependent on factors outside our control,” he said.

“Nevertheless, it is without question that the shipping and logistics industries, including ocean transport, are promising growth industries. We expect that the Asia region and emerging nations such as the BRICs will continue to show high growth rates going forward.”


NYK was amongst the first companies to introduce advanced vessels such as full-containerships, car carriers, LNG carriers, and wood-chip carriers in line with industrial diversification and development of trade after World War II. More recently, the company has entered the offshore business using drillships and shuttle tankers. 

“We believe that solving problems for our customers is the key for a transportation company like NYK to gain a competitive advantage. I would like to emphasize that providing creative solutions doesn’t mean simply aiming to innovate on the technological side. It is more than just technical capabilities. I believe that this is about our creative capabilities in how we use and how we integrate our knowledge and expertise in terms of reaching the solutions that our customers need,” he said. 


Last year, NYK was fined $ 59.4 million for its involvement in a RoRo price-fixing cartel, and Naito drew attention to the NYK values of integrity, innovation and intensity. He called for cooperation across all divisions to ensure that customers recognize NYK as being safe, stable and reliable.

“Furthermore, I believe that diversity is an important principle. Our employees should be able to be equally involved, irrespective of age or gender. Moreover, we should give serious attention to compliance and conducting our business fairly.”

The company will celebrate the 130th anniversary of the group on October 1 this year. 

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