In a major cost-cutting move, Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has indicated it will sell, scrap or return ships and cancel charter contracts on at least 70 vessels in order to reduce its free tonnage from 250 to 180 ships. The company, which lost $2 billion last year, has targeted at least 50 dry bulk carriers and 20 tankers for removal from its fleet by March next year. Most of these ships are currently on spot or short-term fixtures and, to date, no container ships are involved.

MOL also plans to transfer sales activities, chartering and ship operations for about 130 of its bulk carriers from Tokyo to Singapore, where a number of its tankers are already being handled. MOL will still boast a substantial fleet even after the cuts, including 400 dry cargo vessels, 200 tankers and 69 LNG carriers. JS

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