Actively utilizing IoT and big data

The NYK Group is concentrating on innovation through the use of the latest information and communication technology (ICT), including the internet of things (IoT) and big data, in order to further improve safety and environmental efforts that are indispensable for a group that conducts business globally. The Group is also analyzing the optimization of ship operations and other vessel equipment by utilizing operational data and technology development for the autonomous navigation of future ships.

Leveraging Creative Solutions as a Source of Differentiation

The overriding theme of the medium-term management plan "More Than Shipping 2018" is "creative solutions." Aiming to become a corporate group that transcends traditional shipping, the NYK Group is combining creative solutions from the entire Group to achieve further differentiation and create additional value.

Implementing Ship Information Management System (SIMS)

Through the implementation of SIMS in 2008, the NYK Group can share data among workplaces on land and sea in real time, including detailed hourly updates on shipping operations and data related to fuel consumption. Optimized economic vessel operations and energy-saving operations are realized by visualization of information and close information-sharing among crew members, shipowners, ship operators, and ship managers. SIMS has been installed on 187 of our operating vessels (as of April 2017).

Taking Part in "i-Shipping," a Japanese Government R&D Project for Advanced Safety Technology


IoT and other information technology are showing enormous potential to transform the shipping industry. Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) is promoting research and development projects in this new technical area for a "productivity revolution in the maritime business" (i-Shipping). NYK, MTI, and other industry partners are now cooperating and pursuing technological development initiatives on four i-Shipping projects, including "vessel machinery plant trouble-prevention" and "collision avoidance and autonomous operation."

Promoting Innovation in the Shipping Industry

Investment in fundamental big data technology and involvement in active development are indispensable for achieving safe, economical, and environmentally friendly operations. The NYK Group will promote a safe and efficient onboard IoT platform and promote initiatives for innovation with shipbuilding companies, equipment manufacturers, shipping classification societies, and various partners.

Encouraging Innovation through the Creative Solutions Support system

Aiming to discover and foster creative solutions among Group companies and build an environment conducive to creating new businesses, we set up the Creative Solutions Development Fund in 2014. In August 2017, we renamed it the Creative Solutions Support System, but it continues to function as originally intended. Drives for applications have resulted in 67 submissions, approximately 10% of which the fund is supporting.
As the inaugural project aimed at establishing a business based on the fund's support, NYK, its Group companies the Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI) and NYK Business Systems Co. Ltd., Weathernews Inc., and Kozo Keikaku Engineering Inc. jointly established Symphony Creative Solutions Pte. Ltd. (SCS) in Singapore in March 2016. The new company is tasked with developing and providing next-generation solutions in the shipping and logistics fields. Accordingly, SCS will take advantage of the frontline capabilities, technological expertise, and networks of the shareholder companies to rapidly advance the development of innovative solutions that cater to increasingly sophisticated needs in logistics frontline operations. Given the growing difficulty of establishing differentiation as IoT becomes more common, the fund will add impetus to projects and initiatives that create high-value-added services based on insights into customers' precise needs.

An Example of the Creative Solutions Development Fund's Support

An Example of the Creative Solutions Development
Fund's Support

Capitalising on expertise cultivated over many years, Yusen Navtec Co. Ltd. upgrades devices and collaborates with the Dry Bulk Marine Quality Control Group to ensure that the cleaning of vessel bottoms in Japan and overseas complies with the NYK Group's standards. These activities could contribute to the Group's competitiveness because they have the potential to be used for vessel types other than dry bulk carriers and to accelerate fuel-saving efforts. With this in mind, the Creative Solutions Development Fund is supporting efforts to establish upgraded devices as intellectual properties and select and conduct negotiations with local providers of services for the cleaning of vessel bottoms overseas.

Holding Creative Solutions Workshops

In April 2015, we began Kirari Dojo (Creative Solutions Workshops), a programme that seeks to develop employees into leaders who will drive innovation. Targeting mid-career employees that we hope will establish and advance projects focused on differentiation, the programme includes "training camps" and seminars conducted by outside lecturers. Using projects that are actually under way as case studies, the programme teaches participants how to advance projects practically and systematically. Further, to disseminate the ethos of the Creative Solutions Workshops programme, we have designated members of the Committee of Corporate Officers and general managers of groups as programme supporters and formed a next-generation group comprising junior employees. Also, we have begun a programme that provides junior employees with opportunities to work with the junior employees of our partner companies to prepare and implement projects. As a result of participating in such programmes and seeing their creative solutions become a reality and operational improvements actually being implemented, more personnel will view their work proactively. We are confident that such personnel will transform our corporate culture and create a constant stream of differentiated services that keep us half a step ahead of other companies.

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