NYK Line and Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) have agreed to introduce a new shipbuilding contract that guarantees propulsion performance* in actual sea conditions.


Shipbuilding contracts typically guarantee ship speed by confirming the relationship between ship speed and horsepower in calm sea conditions without waves. Mutual confirmation then occurs during the sea trials that are conducted during construction. However, calm voyages without wind and waves are rare during commercial voyages, and stormy weather conditions are often encountered. Therefore, it is generally the obligation of shipping companies to identify and procure ships that have good propulsion performance in actual weather conditions. Recently, with the improvement of satellite communications at sea and the progress of IoT technology, it has become possible to efficiently collect a variety of useful data. In the midst of fierce competition in international shipping, our company, which seeks further differentiate itself from others in ship performance, and JMU, which seeks to demonstrate the superior performance clause in the shipbuilding contract, have agreed to the introduction of an actual sea condition.

Outline of Actual Sea Performance Guarantee

After a ship goes into service, we will collect necessary data for a certain period of time, verify the data, and confirm the degree of achievement of the guarantee. This performance guarantee will confirm the relationship between ship speed and horsepower under sea conditions that include wind and waves.

In addition to this guarantee, NYK Line and JMU will implement a PDCA improvement process and jointly work on the construction of other ship types in the future. Through many years of joint research between NYK Line and JMU, in addition to a common understanding of data processing, storage, analysis methods, etc., the two companies have established a cycle of feeding back obtained knowledge on design for the next new ship to continually improve performance.

Future Outlook

We plan to further develop this guarantee for verification of propulsion performance for many ship types, which is difficult to do in sea trials at the time of construction. We will conduct discussions with our partner shipyards on the performance of vessels in the actual sea conditions and make further improvements. By providing customers with well-performing vessels, we will also contribute to improving environmental consciousness throughout the supply chain.

The NYK Group is dedicated to implementing into its management strategy the ESG initiatives found in the company’s medium-term management plan “Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green,” which was formulated in 2018 and promotes activities that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through the company’s business activities. Efforts to reduce the environmental impact of all stakeholders by engaging in the development of vessels having excellent environmental performance together with our partners will contribute to the achievement of our goals.

The propulsion performance in actual sea conditions in this case represents the “relationship between speed and metric horsepower in the actual sea service.” Ships sailing in waves, which is an irregular phenomenon, require more horsepower to achieve the same speed than when sailing in calm waters due to hull shaking and increased resistance due to reflected waves. This is affected by various factors such as wind direction, wind speed, wave height, wave direction, wave period, tidal current, ship speed, ship type, displacement, and loading condition. Advanced technical capabilities are required for verification.

Source: NYK Line