Japan’s NYK Line has won a long-term consecutive voyage charter (CVC) with compatriot paper manufacturer Hokuetsu Kishu Paper. The latter imports wood fibre and pulp to make paper.
The contract will be serviced by a fuel-efficient wood chip carrier that NYK has ordered at Oshima for 2018 delivery.
NYK said it plans to generate stable revenue through long-term shipping contracts for major Japanese shippers.
The latest contract means NYK would have 37 wood chip carriers on CVC to charterers, including six to Hokuetsu Kishu alone.
Hokuetsu Kishu produces 1.7 million tonnes of paper and cardboard annually, making it Japan’s fifth biggest paper manufacturer.
The paper maker’s factories in Niigata and Kishu, Mie prefecture, import wood chips from countries such as Chile, South Africa, Brazil and Australia.
According to Japan Paper Association, Hokuetsu Kishu had 11 wood chip carriers on CVC as at end-2014. Now that NYK owns half the fleet operated by the paper maker, it has been clearly strengthening its ties to Hokuetsu Kishu.
Hokuetsu Kishu also has CVCs with Mitsui OSK Lines, ‘K’ Line and Mitsubishi Shipping.
Japan Paper Association however, noted that the number of ships its members operates has been declining. In 2008, the association’s member manufacturers controlled 92 ships; that figure fell to 70 by end-2014. The association cited growing usage of electronic media and falling back demand for printed products as the main reason.