Hello friends ! At the beginning of this year, I would like to wish you and your families a very happy and healthy New Year.
I presume each of you is spending an exceptionally quiet holiday season due to the COVID-19, which does not seem to leave us with a clear horizon yet. The vaccination program - humanity's first counterattack - finally started in Europe and the Unites States at the end of last year, and in Japan, it is said the vaccine will be available in the first half of this year, although concerns about adverse reactions are still topical.
Together with you, I strongly hope that 2021 will be a bright year, unlike the past year of self-restraint, and that in this new year we can see our outdated social systems transformed into more resilient ones, and the shrunk economy into a vibrant post-covid economy.
The Japan' shipbuilding industry is witnessing a drastic landscape change, with the announcement of a capital alliance between Japan's top 2 builders and some business transfers between other major players, both in 2020. In the midst of a harsh storm, companies in our industry will continue to make various moves in seek of growth.
7,500m3 L.P.G. Carrier EPIC BREEZE
Under these circumstances, we built six vessels last year and delivered them as scheduled. This includes one 296,000ft3 refrigerated cargo carrier, one 9,100m3 'semi-ref' LPG carrier, two 1,081TEU container ships, and two 7,500m3 LPG carriers.
On the other hand, we managed to receive five new orders during last year, despite restrictions on domestic and overseas business travel, which is the key to our sales activities. This includes one 1,096 TEU containership, one 178,000ft3 freeze-processing reefer, two 205,000ft3 refrigerated cargo carriers, and one 670 TEU containership, securing a construction volume to keep us busy until the mid 2022.
It is noted that some of these projects were led to contracts through remote negotiations with overseas shipowners. Thanks to the understanding and cooperation of our customers, we were able to find new possibilities in the order process.
In the ship repairing sector, our other mainstay business, we continue to enjoy the patronage of many domestic customers, and sales have been strong.
296,000ft3 Reefer Carrier BOYANG CAPELLA
Next, let's look at our initiatives for 2021.
With our new shipbuilding business team rejuvenated, we will focus particularly on orders for coastal vessels from domestic owners. While making the most of our unique strengths, such as the ability to build a wide array of ship types and the know-how to respond to niche markets, we will also actively consider small-lot projects in order to increase our order backlog. In addition, we will combine the three strengths of sales, design, and manufacturing to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and win orders for technologically advanced projects.
In the design division, we will work to reduce design costs for newly designed products ; and in the construction division, we will improve motivation and productivity by assigning management roles to workers. The repair business division, which has been supplemented with young staffs, will aggressively conduct sales activities to develop new customers and acquire large projects in order to further increase sales.
Recently, the new Prime Minister of Japan announced in his policy speech that Japan will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to virtually zero by 2050. Kyokuyo Shipyard will take this as an opportunity to proactively challenge environmental issues. In cooperation with marine equipment manufacturers, we will develop vessels that meet the needs of society and customers and constantly present them in the form of 'real' solutions.
1,081TEU Container Carrier TS KOBE
This April, we will be welcoming as many as 12 new graduates to our company. We are very grateful to them who have been attracted to Kyokuyo and have decided to join us.
We will continue to recruit young people as one of the solutions to the problems of the aging workforce (including those from our subcontractors) and the passing-on of skills.
At the same time, we will create an even more comfortable work environment for all employees, from new recruits to veterans, so that they can work safely and with pride. We will also establish a new performance evaluation system that encourages the improvement of skills and personal growth.
our new Workers' Facility (R) and Pipe Storehouse (L) (both blt '20)
In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to the shipowners who placed orders with us and to the trading companies, brokers and other stakeholders for their efforts that made it possible for Kyokuyo Shipbuilding to sail in a healthy manner even in rough seas.
We will always aim to create a vibrant workplace full of energetic voices, and to make all employees, including those of our subcontractors, feel a sense of unity as "Team Kyokuyo." We think of our employees as our family and support their dreams and goals, while aiming to create an organization where everyone can have a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
This year, with a renewed determination, we will continue to build and repair merchant vessels, for customers, stakeholders, community, company and ourselves and our families. We look forward to your continued patronage and encouragement !
Kyokuyo Shipyard Corporation
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-Sailing in the COVID-19 Storm