Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line)

    Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) history, profile and history video

       Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, also known as NYK Line, is a shipping company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.


       Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) was founded in 1885 by the merger of Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company and Kyodo Unyu Kaisha. The company inaugurated its operations with a fleet of 58 steamships.

    Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company

       Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company traces its history back to 1870 when the Tosa clan founded the shipping company Tsukumo Shokai. Tsukumo Shokai was renamed Mitsubishi Shokai in 1873 after Yataro took an active role in managing the business.

       After supporting the government with the transport of troops and supplies to Taiwan during the Satsuma Rebellion, Mitsubishi became Japan’s leading shipping enterprise.

       In 1875, Mitsubishi Shokai changed its name to Mitsubishi Jokisen Kaisha (Mitsubishi Steamship Company).

       In 1876, the company adopted the name Yubin Kisen Mitsubishi (Mitsubishi Mail Steamship), with “Mail” being added in recognition of its new state functions, such as mail-carrying.

       In 1885, Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company agreed to merge with Kyodo Unyu Kaisha, which resulted in the establishment of Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK).

       In 1896, the liner service began on European, Seattle, and Australian routes.

       In 1914, Tokushima Maru became the first Japanese ship to pass through the newly completed Panama Canal.

       In 1916, the liner service to New York via Panama Canal began.

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       In 1917, the liner service to the east coast of South America began.

       In 1926, NYK acquired Dai-ni Toyo Kisen Kaisha, gaining routes to San Francisco and the west coast of South America.

       In 1939, the company acquired Kinkai Yusen Kaisha Ltd.

       During World War Ⅱ, NYK tragically lost most of its two key assets – ships and crew. It only remained 37 from 185 vessels.

       From 1951 to 1957, the main liner services resumed.

       In 1964, NYK and Mitsubishi Shipping Co. Ltd. merged to form a newly enlarged NYK Group.

       In 1970, the container service to the west coast of North America began.

       In 1971, the container service to Europe began.

       In 1972, the container service to the east coast of North America began.

       In 1978, Nippon Cargo Airlines Co. Ltd. (NCA) was established.

       n 1979, the container service to the Persian Gulf began.

       In 1980, the Australia-Malaysia-Persian Gulf container service began.

       In 1981, the container service to South Africa and the west coast of South America began.

       In 1983, the LNG shipments from Indonesia to Japan began.

    In 1989, NYK Line (Europe) Ltd., NYK Bulkship (USA) Inc., and NYK Bulkship (Europe) Ltd. were established.

       In 1990, the luxury cruise ship Crystal Harmony began service as Group reenters cruise business.

       In 1996, the LNG shipments from Qatar to Japan began.

       In 1998, the company acquired Showa Line Co. Ltd.

       In 2001, Hinode Kisen Co. Ltd. became a subsidiary of NYK and assumed responsibility for NYK’s conventional ship business.

       In 2003, NYK Logistics (Europe) Ltd. and NYK Logistics (Asia) Pte Ltd. were established. That year, the Group invested in the Dalian Port RORO terminal.

       In 2005, Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) became a subsidiary of NYK.

       In 2009, the Group participated in the project for ultra-deepwater drillship chartered by Petrobras.

       In 2010, the Group entered the offshore shuttle tanker business by purchasing interest in Knutsen Offshore Tankers AS. Yusen Logistics was established in 2010 to integrate the NYK Group’s logistics.

       In 2013, NYK-Hinode Line Ltd. and NYK Global Bulk Corporation merged to form NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers Ltd.

       In 2017, the new integrated container shipping company (Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd.) was established.

       In 2020, Japan’s first LNG-fueled pure car and truck carrier(PCTC)was delivered.


       The NYK Group operates through the following business segments: liner & logistics business, air cargo transportation business, logistics business, bulk shipping business, real estate business, and other business services.

    Liner & Logistics Business

       The Liner & Logistics Business segment consists of the container shipping business that mainly transports general consumer goods, and the terminal business that offers terminal and stevedoring services around the world.

    Air Cargo Transportation Business

       In the Air Cargo Transportation Business segment, Nippon Cargo Airlines Co. Ltd. (NCA), a subsidiary of NYK Line, provides international air cargo services linking Japan to North America, Europe, and Asia.

    Logistics Business

       In the Logistics Business segment, the company utilizes a network connecting global bases, to provide services from warehousing and distribution to ocean and air freight forwarding.

    Bulk Shipping Business

       The Bulk Shipping Business segment comprises the following divisions:

    • Automotive Transportation Division
    • Dry Bulk Business Division
    • Energy Business Division (Crude Oil, Clean Petroleum Product, Chemical and LPG)
    • Energy Business Division (LNG)
    • Energy Business Division (Offshore Business)

    Real Estate Business

       The Real Estate Business segment ensures the management of the NYK Group’s real property assets.

    Other Business Services

       In addition to sales of petroleum products and marine equipment, the company also conducts ship agency business, restaurants, cruise vessel business, and so on.

       With more than 35,000 employees, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) is considered one of the Largest Public Companies in the World, according to Forbes.

    *Information from,, and

    **Video published on YouTube by “Whiskylogy“.



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