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Korean shipbuilders see more Japan orders

Nov 07,2004
Korean shipbuilders have outpaced competitors in Japan, so much that Japanese firms are placing orders with them.
Hyundai Heavy Industries yesterday announced that Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha, or NYK Line, has placed orders on eight TEU (20-foot equivalent units) container vessels for $570 million.
Including the NYK Line, Hyundai has received orders for 22 vessels from Japan this year.
“Compared to last year, orders from Japan have increased sharply this year. This shows that Japanese shipping companies are no longer depending on their country’s own shipbuilders, whose competitiveness has been falling,” said a Hyundai official.
According to the Korea Shipbuilders’ Association, since the 1950s, Japanese ship builders led the global market, but in 1999, Korea replaced them in the top spot. Even Japanese shipping companies are increasing orders at Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries, an official at the association said.
The official said Korean companies were winning over their Japanese competition because they produce high-quality ships at a price that is more than 5 percent lower than Japanese shipbuilders’ bids.
“Japanese shipbuilders have been lazy about developing its technology while Korean companies continued to adopt new technology that has lowered the production unit cost and increase competitiveness that allows them to produce ships according to the preference of global clients,” the official said.


by Park Hye-min


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