1. Home
  2. Corporate Profile
  3. Profile
  4. History


1870 Tosa Clan establishes Tsukumo Shokai Shipping company.
1872 Tsukumo Shokai renamed Mitsukawa Shokai.
1873 Mitsukawa Shokai renamed Mitsubishi Shokai.
1875 Mitsubishi Shokai starts Japan's first overseas liner service between Yokohama and Shanghai.
Mitsubishi Shokai changes name to Mitsubishi Kisen, then to Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company.
1882 Kyodo Unyu Kaisha established.
1885 Yubin Kisen Mitsubishi Kaisha and Kyodo Unyu Kaisha merge on September 29 to form Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK); new company inaugurates operations on October 1 with a fleet of 58 steamships.
1886 Liner service between Nagasaki and Tientsin begins.
1890 Liner service between Manila and Kobe begins.
1893 Japan's first long-distance liner service begins on Bombay route.
Nippon Yusen Kaisha becomes a joint-stock corporation and changes its name to Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha.
1896 London branch opened.
Liner service begins on European, Seattle, and Australian routes.
1899 NYK joins Straits Outward (eastbound) Conference.
Liner service to London begins on eastbound leg of Europe-Asia route.
1902 NYK joins Straits Homeward (westbound) Conference.
1911 Calcutta liner service begins.
1914 Tokushima Maru becomes first Japanese ship to pass through the newly completed Panama Canal.
1915 Westward around-the-world liner service begins.
1916 Liner service to New York via the Panama Canal begins.
New Zealand liner service begins.
1917 Liner service to the east coast of South America begins.
1918 Mediterranean liner service begins.
1919 Liner service to Hamburg and Liverpool begins.
1920 New York branch opens.
1923 Departure of Nagasaki Maru inaugurates Japan-China (Nagasaki-Shanghai) Rapid Express Service.
Near-Sea Department becomes separate entity; renamed Kinkai Yusen Kaisha Ltd. for handling coastal and short-range international service.
NYK's Tokyo headquarters moves into newly completed Marunouchi Yusen Building.
NYK ships provide relief for victims of the Great Kanto Earthquake.
1926 NYK acquires Dai-ni Toyo Kisen Kaisha, gaining routes to San Francisco and the west coast of South America.
1929 Distinctive twin red stripes on white background becomes official funnel marking for NYK vessels.
Luxury passenger liner Asama Maru begins service on San Francisco route.
1930 Chichibu Maru and Tatsuta Maru (San Francisco route), Hikawa Maru (Seattle route), and Terukuni Maru and Yasukuni Maru (European route) begin service.
1934 Liner service to Gulf of Mexico ports in Latin America begins.
Bombay route extended to Persian Gulf ports.
1935 NYK marks 50th anniversary.
1936 Scandinavian liner service begins.
1937 Madras liner service begins.
Eastbound around-the-world liner service begins.
1939 NYK acquires Kinkai Yusen Kaisha Ltd.
1942 Three NYK ships, Asama Maru, Tatsuta Maru, and Kamakura Maru, provide transport for the exchange of U.S., British, and Japanese diplomats.
1945 Only 37 vessels, totaling 155,469 gross tons, remain after World War II.
1950 Japan's first private-sector vessel to sail an international shipping route since World War II brings rice from Thailand.
Hikawa Maru and two other ships resume service to North America.
1951 Bangkok liner service begins.
Liner service resumes to India and Pakistan, to New York, and to Seattle.
1952 Liner service resumes on Asia-Europe routes via the Suez Canal.
Australia liner service resumes.
1953 Service to Gulf of Mexico ports in Central America resumes.
1954 Liner service to the east coast of South America resumes.
Middle East liner service resumes.
1956 Westbound around-the-world liner service resumes.
1957 Liner service to the west coast of Central America resumes.
1958 Black Sea liner service begins.
1962 World's first large LPG carrier, Bridgestone Maru, and heavy lifter Wakasa Maru completed.
1964 NYK and Mitsubishi Shipping Co. Ltd. merge; newly enlarged NYK Group owns 153 vessels of 2,287,696 deadweight tons.
1965 Sitka Maru, Japan's first pulp carrier, commissioned.
1967 Chikushi Maru, ore and oil carrier, begins service.
1968 Hakone Maru, Japan's first fully containerized ship, begins service on new California route.
1969 Near Seas and domestic coastal services transferred to Kinkai Yusen Kaisha Ltd.
NYK Line (Hong Kong) Ltd. and NYK (Thailand) Co. Ltd. established.
Container service to Australia begins.
1970 Container service to the West Coast of North America begins.
1971 Container service to Europe begins.
1972 Container service to the East Coast of North America begins.
1975 First foreign bond in Japanese shipping industry issued (in the Federal Republic of Germany; DM50 million).
1978 NYK headquarters moves into newly completed Yusen Building.
NYK, three other Japanese shipping companies, and All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. establish Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA).
1979 Container service to Persian Gulf begins.
1980 Australia-Malaysia-Persian Gulf container service begins.
1981 Container service to the west coast of South America begins.
Container service to South Africa begins.
1983 NYK Line (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. established.
LNG shipments from Indonesia to Japan initiated.
1985 NYK centennial celebration.
Double-stack container train service begins between Los Angeles, Chicago, and Cincinnati in cooperation with Southern Pacific Transportation.
1986 Long-term vision, “NYK 21,” introduced.
Logistics Research and Development Center opens.
Toronto Logistics Center completed.
1987 Ultraefficient containership California Mercury launched; known as a pioneer ship and navigable with an 11-member crew.
Ohi Logistics Center opens in Tokyo.
1988 NYK Systems Research Institute established.
NYK Line (North America) Inc. established.
Hong Kong Logistics Center completed.
1989 NYK Ship Management Co. Ltd. established.
NYK Line (Europe) Ltd., NYK Bulkship (USA) Inc., and NYK Bulkship (Europe) Ltd. established.
Bangkok, Los Angeles, and Sydney logistics centers open.
Rokko Logistics Center (Kobe) opens.
1990 Singapore Logistics Center opens.
Worldwide Information Network Services for Logistics (WINS) implemented on transpacific routes.
World-class luxury cruise ship Crystal Harmony, expedition ship Frontier Spirit, and party yacht Lady Crystal begin service.
1991 Nippon Liner System Co. Ltd. acquired; container liner service to New Zealand begins.
Asuka, Japan's largest luxury cruise ship, begins service.
Los Angeles and Oakland container terminals open.
Three British transport and distribution companies acquired.
Logistics centers opened in Antwerp (Belgium), Port Kelang (Malaysia), and Milton Keynes (United Kingdom).
Majority interest acquired in Australian cruise company Dectar Pty. Ltd.
Laem Chabang (Thailand) Container Terminal opens.
NYK Line (Australia) Pty. Ltd. and NYK Shipping (N.Z.) Ltd. established.
1992 Kaohsiung (Taiwan) Container Terminal opens.
Milan (Italy) Logistics Center opens.
1993 Liner service begins between the west coast of South America and Europe.
Double-hull tanker Takamine Maru completed.
NYK Maritime Museum opens in Yokohama.
1994 Kobe Container Terminal opens.
NYK Line (Deutschland) GmbH, NYK Line (Benelux) B.V., and NYK Line (Sverige) AB established.
NYK-supported Yamaha wins Whitebread yacht race.
Yokohama Container Terminal opens.
NYK Tennoz Building completed.
NYK Altair, 4,800 TEU containership, launched.
1995 Good Hope Express Service links Asia, South Africa, and the east coast of South America.
Luxury cruise ship Crystal Symphony completed.
NYK Line (China) Co. Ltd. established.
Ocean Carrier Technology Laboratory opens.
1996 New container service by the Grand Alliance for the United States and Europe trades starts.
Qatar LNG service starts.
1997 Tanker accident by Diamond Grace occurs in Tokyo Bay.
1998 New container service by the New Grand Alliance for the United States and Europe trades starts.
NYK and Showa Line Co. Ltd. merge, adding three owned vessels of 549,031 deadweight tons and 75 chartered vessels of 6,140,134 deadweight tons to the shipping lineup.
Taipei branch established.
1999 UWDC transloading base opens.
Liner Division and Car Carrier Division obtain ISO 9002 certification.
2000 NYK decides to build a third vessel for Crystal Cruises.
NYK enters a new business field with the establishment of e-JAN Co. Ltd.
NYK Logistics (China) established.
2001 “Double Wing,” the unified group logo bearing the words “NYK Logistics & Megacarrier,” launched.
NYK Shipmanagement Co. Ltd. established in Singapore.
2002 NYK (including chartered fleet) obtains ISO14001 certification, world's first for a shipping company.
Ceres Terminals Inc. in the United States acquired.
2003 NYK Logistics (Europe) Ltd., a united logistics company, established.
NYK 21 "Forward 120," the company's medium- and long-term group management vision, announced.
Renewed NYK Maritime Museum opens in the Yokohama Yusen Building.
2004 All NYK logistics subsidiaries uniformly rebranded as “NYK Logistics.”
MTI (Monohakobi Technology Institute) established for the development of new technology.
Office of Corporate Citizenship (OCC) established.
2005 Relief offered for areas overwhelmed by natural disasters.
New medium-term management plan, “New Horizon 2007,” released.
Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) becomes a consolidated subsidiary of NYK.
Resident representative established in Russia.
NYKLauritzenCool AB established.
The Grand Alliance and the New World Alliance announce cooperation on key trade routes.
NYK Line (Italy) S.p.A established.
2006 Local trade headquarters in Sao Paulo established for container transport operations for South Africa and Central/South America service routes.
Resident representative established in Istanbul.
NYK Group and Yamato Group form strategic alliance.
NYK Line (Rus) LLC established.
2007 NYK deploys 38 containerships that have Alternative Maritime Power capability.
NYK-TDG Maritime Academy opens in the Philippines.
2008 “New Horizon 2010,” the company's new medium-term management plan, released.
NYK Cool Earth Project launched.
Auriga Leader, a solar-power-assisted vessel, completed.
2009 Emergency Structural Reform Project, “Yosoro,” implemented.
Exploratory design for NYK Super Eco Ship 2030 released.
Good Design Awards received for two of NYK's environment-friendly ships, Auriga Leader and NYK Super Eco Ship 2030.
Participation in project for ultra-deepwater drillship, to be chartered by Petrobras, begins.
2010 Yusen Logistics established to integrate the NYK Group's logistics.
Two module carriers equipped with an Innovatiove air-lubrication system delivered.
Offshore shuttle tanker business entered.
2011 New medium-term management plan, “More Than Shipping 2013,” launched.
NYK sends support teams of volunteers and offers aid to the area devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
NYK-TDG Maritime Academy graduates its first class, enhancing the NYK Group's measures to proactively employ seafarers.
2012 NYK's Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) was the first in the world to be certified by ClassNK.
A plan was announced for the building of four post-Panamax pure car and truck carriers equipped with the latest energy-saving technology.
NYK hosted a cruise on Asuka II to aid reconstruction of the area damaged by the quake.
More Information: Top News Stories for 2012
2013 NYK established a consortium company, Japan LNG Investment, in the U.S. state of Louisiana together with the Mitsubishi Corporation to possibly participate in the Cameron LNG project.
Receipt of Numerous Environmental Awards: Soyo, an NYK-owned coal carrier, was selected as the 2012 Ship of the Year. NYK received the highest award at the 2013 Nikkei Global Environmental Technology Awards in recognition of the NYK Group's use of an energy-saving air-lubrication system for vessels.
Operations began at NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers Ltd., the product of the merger of two key wholly owned NYK subsidiary companies — i.e., NYK-Hinode Line Ltd. and NYK Global Bulk Corporation.
More Information: Top News Stories for 2013
2014 NYK announced its new medium-term management plan,“More Than Shipping 2018 —Stage 2 leveraged by Creative Solutions-”, a five-year plan starting from April 2014.
Practical use of LNG fuel: United European Car Carriers (UECC),* which is jointly owned by NYK and Wallenius Lines, signed a contract to construct two dual-fuel LNG pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs).
NYK decided to build the world's first LNG bunkering vessel to participate in the LNG bunkering business.
A cease and desist order and surcharges-payment (extraordinary charge of 13.1 billion yen) order was received from the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
More Information: Top News Stories for 2014