07 Januari 2015

[070115.EN.SEA] 'K' Line Boss' Annual Speech Sees Fewer Hours And More Regulatory Compliance

"K" LINE's annual presidential address reviewed a so-so year and looked to the future's "existential value" in which it sought shorter working hours and greater regulatory compliance

"We intend to the elimination of long work hours and full compliance," said company president and CEO Jiro Asakura in his annual address to the Japanese shipping giant.

"However, we will need to employ an approach that moves simultaneously from the bottom up and top down. Moving in just one direction will only result in incomplete reform that will lack company-wide acceptance," he said.

Compliance references appear to refer to "K" Line being fined US$67 million in September for ro-ro price fixing by the US Department of Justice and a painful share sale to pay for the penalty.

Also a year ago, "K" Line also declared an extraordinary loss ahead of $54.81 million in expected price fixing fines levied by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

Otherwise it had been a so-so year, said Mr Asakura.

"Our containership business did better than expected on the back of favourable conditions in the freight rate market during the first half," he said.

This was helped by weak yen and falling fuel prices. "As a result, we enjoyed a significant improvement in our balance of payments compared to our competitors in the same sector," he said.

"On the other hand, our bulk shipping business showed a slight year-on-year decline due to a decrease in the number of automobiles transported and continuing sluggishness in the dry bulk market," he said.

"Our initiative to lower costs, an effort that is now in its third year, is helping support recovery in our business performance," said Mr Asakura.

Fuel-saving vessel operations are "bearing fruit by substantially lowering costs while helping us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions", he said.

"As a result of our efforts here, we were recognised for the first time as a leading company in climate change information disclosure and performance by an international organisation in the field in October of last year," Mr Asakura said. 

Source : HKSG.

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