ONE launch hits ‘teething’ problems for bookings

ONE launch hits ‘teething’ problems for bookings

A container ship at sea.

Ocean Network Express was launched on April 1 and reports of difficulties in booking cargo have followed. Photo credit:

Ocean Network Express
 (ONE) said it is experiencing cargo booking delays in some areas as the new carrier migrates the global container shipping business of NYK, MOL, and “K” Line into the ONE network. 

A spokesperson for the Singapore-based shipping line said the start up of ONE was “going to plan,” although there were some delays in transferring staff from the three legacy Japanese companies to the new container line. 

“The transfer is happening in phases, in different geographies, and it will take a number of weeks to complete the process. We are working to rectify this issue as quickly as possible and expect a resolution and return to a high level of service within weeks,” the spokesperson told

ONE was launched on April 1 and reports of difficulties in booking cargo have followed. One forwarder called the booking process "a disaster," saying ONE staff members were not returning phone calls or emails. 

"One container was put on hold in the system and couldn't be loaded" because of a system error, said a US importer from Asia. "That was the story I was given." The importer added that the restructuring of sales representatives has also made it harder to pressure known contacts to get information technology relief. 

The ONE spokesperson said customers had been understanding and that the booking delays were temporary teething issues.

The carrier is part of THE Alliance with members Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming. Apart from the container shipping businesses that were merged into ONE, also included in the integration are their terminal operations outside Japan.

Jeremy Nixon, the former head of container shipping at NYK, is leading ONE as chief executive based in the carrier’s operational headquarters in Singapore. NYK has a 38 percent share in the joint venture company, while MOL and “K” Line have 31 percent each.

The three Japanese carriers officially established the world’s sixth-largest liner shipping company on July 7, 2017. ONE has the world’s sixth-largest fleet that, according to Alphaliner data, grew by 8.7 percent in 2017 to a capacity of 1.48 million TEU. This will be boosted by the deliveries in 2018 of one 20,180 TEU unit from MOL, four 14,020 TEU vessels from NYK, and five 13,870 TEU ships from “K” Line.

Merging their container shipping divisions will enable the new carrier to generate the scale and cost benefits that are essential to be competitive against the industry giants such as Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., CMA CGM, and the Cosco Shipping-Orient Overseas (International) Ltd.

Contact Greg Knowler at and follow him on Twitter: @greg_knowler.


Start-ups and changing systems - the norm.