Supporting Everyday Life and
Industries Around the World

Ships bring efficiency and convenience to the movement of people and cargo. Of course, ships come in all types, from yachts to fishing boats and military vessels. But the ships that transport people and cargo are called “merchant vessels.”
Just about everything we rely on in our everyday lives arrives by ship. 99% of commodities, energy resources, and materials imported to and exported from Japan — an island nation surrounded by the sea — travels by merchant vessels. It’s no exaggeration to say that merchant ships are indispensable to our lives.

Larger, Ever More Specialized Vessels

Merchant vessels have evolved to carry out their mission—transporting a diverse range of cargo safely, economically, and efficiently. Ships called “freighters” transport general cargo and finished products, tankers transport crude oil, bulk carriers move massive amounts of iron ore, and car carriers bring automobiles to markets across the sea. Over the years, “dedicated bulkships” have been introduced and refined to carry specific cargoes. At the same time, vessels have become larger and larger, to boost efficiency and realize economies of scale by maximizing the amount of cargo per voyage.

An ‘Ocean Shipping Supermarket’

The Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) Group is a multimodal ocean shipping operator with a global fleet of merchant vessels and that support everyday life as well as industries all over the world. MOL Group vessels come in all shapes, types, and sizes, making the group an “ocean shipping supermarket.”
This brochure introduces how these vessels transport the commodities needed for our lives and industries and offers an in-depth look at the structure and characteristics of different merchant vessels.