Supporting the Marine Transportation Business of Japan, a Major Importer of Resources-ORIX’s Shipping Business-
Ships are essential to our everyday lives
Japan must rely upon imports to meet most of its resource requirements, given its low self-sufficiency rates for food and energy. This is true of resources ranging from soybeans, the raw ingredients of soy sauce and miso, to coal, which is used by power plants as a fuel to generate electricity.
Those resources are transported to Japan internationally on cargo ships known as bulk carriers.
By making a steady supply of these bulk carriers available, we are playing a key role in supporting global logistics through marine transportation.
Beginning with the leasing of actual ships, we have been involved in the shipping business for more than 40 years.
Are Ship Crews Arranged for Customers When They Lease Ships?
The primary objective of a marine transportation company tasked with transporting resources is to ship goods to their designated destination on schedule.
To do so, it is vital to secure ship crews including navigators and ship engineers, as well as to conduct the maintenance needed to ensure safe voyages and to have ship management facilities in place.
To smoothly support the business operations of marine transportation companies, we established ORIX Maritime Corporation as a specialized company not only to purchase ships, but also to lease ships to shipping companies via time charter arrangements that include ship management operations such as maintenance and crew staffing services.
Reaching Higher as a Leasing Company With Ship Experts
Some bulk carriers travel more than half way around the world on a single voyage to transport their cargo.
└To lease a ship to shipping companies while ensuring that it is capable of operating safely, the ship lessor must have detailed and in-depth knowledge of every corner of the ship.
ORIX Maritime has the ship experts and technology needed to do just that. Not only does it have staff to assist with the financial aspects of leasing from its offices, but it also has ship experts who know how the company’s ships were built and their maintenance condition. Together with cutting-edge technologies, these experts are able to determine the condition of ships in ways that cannot be gauged from vessel specifications or exterior appearance alone. This includes identifying welding defects, assessing the strength of steel plates, and determining the presence of rust, any of which could lead to oil leaks or incapacitate the ship. At times, ORIX Maritime’s ship experts may even assess the condition of a ship using a single hammer when necessary.
A Group of Professionals, Nurtured by Crisis
Despite our track record, our shipping business has not necessarily enjoyed smooth sailing at all times.
Several years after ORIX Maritime was established in 1977, the marine transportation market suffered an industry-wide downturn. This happened just as ORIX Maritime had started to accumulate experience in ship management operations. The reason for the downturn was an over-supply of new ships relative to shipping demand in terms of marine shipping volume. As a large number of marine transportation companies went bankrupt, leased vessels were successively returned to the leasing companies. Under these conditions, many of our peer leasing companies withdrew from the ship leasing business altogether. However, we persevered with a resolute focus on our ship management operations. At the same time, we worked to keep our ships in operation while striving to improve the quality of our self-owned vessels and reduce related costs. In the process, we steadily accumulated the expertise we needed to develop our marine transportation business.
Rather than simply giving up on a business after experiencing a temporary setback due to market conditions, we always surmount the challenges we face by doing our utmost to drive innovation and create new business value.
This DNA of ORIX is the reason we have been able to remain engaged in the shipping business to this day.
Maintaining the Lifeline of Shipping Clients
Our daily lives today would be impossible without an adequate supply of resources. Bulk carriers are the cargo ships that ensure that those resources are shipped and supplied.
“Our mission is to never stop operating ships—not even for a day or for an hour,” says Michio Yamane, a former chief engineer in charge of ship engines and executive officer who has underpinned the operations of ORIX Maritime over many years.
Behind words that may seem self-evident lie many years of steadfast effort backed by experience.
Looking ahead, we will continue to support global marine transportation by fulfilling our dual roles as an expert in finance and ship management operations.