Giant Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) is preparing for future challenges by adding 23 new shore employees.

Chief executive Takeshi Hashimoto welcomed the recruits with a speech in Toyko in which he outlined the changing nature of the group’s business.

“MOL Group is a traditional ocean shipping corporate group with a history of nearly 140 years, but in recent years we have been undergoing a period of major reforms from three perspectives," he said.

Hashimoto explained that the Japanese economy has peaked, while China, South East Asia and other Asian regions are expanding.

He added that the group is developing business around the world.

Hashimoto also said MOL traditionally has operated in volatile ocean shipping markets.

“In recent years, however, we have been changing our business portfolio by expanding into areas such as offshore wind power, domestic and international real estate, warehousing and other logistics businesses,” he said.

Hashimoto argued that this will bring stable profits.

But this also means the company has to target zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, while entering industries with low emissions to address critical environmental issues that have come to the forefront in recent years.

The third area of reform for MOL is the mobility and internationalisation of human resources.

Diversity is paying off

“Diversity is working well in the LNG carrier and offshore businesses, which have seen significant growth over the past 20 years, with career recruits playing an active role in these business fields,” Hashimoto said.

“In addition, in order to develop business in regions with growth potential such as India and China, it is ideal for international staff hired in each country to form teams with Japanese staff, complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Hashimoto told the new employees that the company has been performing strongly since 2020.

This gives MOL the financial power to work on major investment projects.

“We will continue to enhance human resources as a top management priority, as a team of individuals with different skills and backgrounds that can form and function efficiently to develop new businesses that we never imagined,” Hashimoto concluded.