Flush with cash from two years of record profits, some liner majors have been investing in land-based logistics companies and even air freight operations.
Asked whether Ocean Network Express (ONE) is interested in following in the footsteps of its peers, chief executive Jeremy Nixon gave an emphatic “no”.
Acknowledging that each company in the container shipping industry has its own strategy — with several competitors investing in value-added services, including warehousing, logistics and air freight — Nixon explained that ONE remains purely focused on being a full container load point-to-point container shipping operator.
“Quite frankly, we have quite an extensive — but I think realistic — investment programme just to look after and manage the existing asset requirements that we will need to support the business over the next 10 to 20 years,” he explained.
“ONE’s particular focus on the green strategy means that we will have to invest in new and more expensive technology.
“And that, I think, is how we should be using our balance sheet effectively, and maybe not broadening out too much into other areas, which may dilute or confuse that.”
ONE will continue to invest in container terminals at ports, which Nixon indicated involves some further transfer of assets from its three Japanese parent shareholders.
As part of the company’s green strategy, existing terminals will also benefit from more investments aimed at improving efficiencies and new technologies to reduce their environmental impact.