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NYK has placed an order for 4,700 additional brand-new 40-foot refrigerated (reefer) containers, and the delivery of the new containers commenced in November. NYK procured 5,500 of the same type of containers last year, and the average age of company’s fleet of over 40,000 reefer containers has now fallen to four years.

The new order includes 600 Controlled Atmosphere (CA) containers. The advanced technology of these CA units ensures the freshness of perishable agricultural products, such as fruits and vegetables during long ocean transits. The CA technology regulates not only the temperature within the reefer unit but also the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. These 600 CA units will be used mainly for the transportation of fruits from Latin America to Japan and other countries in the Asian region, and then for the export of Japanese vegetables, which are garnering more attention these days.

The demand for transportation by refrigerated containers is expected to expand at a solid pace in line with a strategy of economic growth by the Japanese government. The NYK Group will continue to proactively invest in its high-quality, competitive service in this growing field.

United European Car Carriers (UECC),* owned equally by NYK and Wallenius Lines, held a naming ceremony on November 21 at the Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, for Auto Eco, the world’s first LNG-fueled pure car and truck carrier (PCTC). Auto Eco had been delivered to UECC on September 29.

The ceremony was attended by Geert Bourgeois, minister-president of the government of Flanders; Claire Tillekaerts, CEO of Flanders Investment and Trade; Masafumi Ishii, Japan’s ambassador to Belgium; Takao Kusakari, NYK senior advisor; and Koichi Chikaraishi, NYK senior managing corporate officer; among others.

Auto Eco is equipped with dual-fuel engines that can use either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or heavy fuel oil and marine gas oil. The vessel is also a Finnish/Swedish ice class 1A super vessel, thus allowing for safe, full-year sailing in the Baltic Sea, where ice is common in winter.

UECC will make every effort to improve its services and reduce environmental loads through the use of this unique ship.

On November 15 as part of the company’s Remember Naka-no-Se Campaign,* NYK conducted a crisis-response drill based on the scenario of a serious accident occurring on an NYK-owned and operated PCTC (pure car and truck carrier).

Cooperation from the Maritime Bureau within Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the 4th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters of Japan, and related parties enabled this drill to be more realistic and practical than before. During the drill, NYK’s crisis-management headquarters simulated timely press releases and reconfirmed the importance of immediate and correct information disclosure to the public.

A summary of the drill is provided below.

<Situation>

A fire broke out in a cargo space on a PCTC while the vessel was sailing off the coast of Ise Bay. A crew member was injured while firefighting. In addition, a pipe on deck was damaged by the fire, and oil then leaked into the sea.

<Flow of drill>

1) NYK established a crisis-management headquarters in response to an urgent report from the PCTC’s ship-management company.

2) NYK reported information about the accident to MLIT’s Maritime Bureau, the Japan Coast Guard, and related parties.

3) NYK directed the PCTC to rescue the injured, conduct firefighting, and remove the oil from the sea by coordinating with MLIT, the Japan Coast Guard, and related parties. 

4) NYK sent out press releases as the situation progressed and responded to media enquiries.

NYK will further advance its safety management systems, positioning navigational safety as its most important task, and will aim to be a leading company in the safety field based on the group’s medium-term management plan, “More Than Shipping 2018.”

* Remember Naka-no-Se Campaign

This campaign has been conducted every year to remind NYK Group members of the importance of safe operations and to ensure that lessons remain learnt from the oil spill that occurred in July 1997 from VLCC Diamond Grace.