In a fresh sign of the economic fallout from weaker global trade, Japan’s three largest shipping companies agreed to merge a major portion of their businesses, saying they needed to join forces to survive.
The president of one of the companies, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, said the groups faced bleak prospects on their own. The shipping industry was shaken in August by the bankruptcy of South Korea’s biggest container shipping line, Hanjin Shipping, while other shipping companies in Asia, Europe and the Middle East sought to protect themselves through mergers and acquisitions.
“If we don’t want the number of Japanese shipping companies to be zero, we need to create one strong, splendid company,” the president of Nippon Yusen, Tadaaki Naito, said at a news conference.
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