zoom Japanese shipping company NYK Line will be looking into business acquisition opportunities in the year ahead.A window of opportunity has been identified in the transportation of oil and petroleum products, especially since the focus of the sector is expected to switch to Asia in the future, NYK’s President Tadaaki Naito said in his New Year’s speech.“I want you to work with a broad perspective that includes peripheral businesses, such as terminals,” Naito said addressing his employees in Tokyo.Speaking of the bulk shipping business, Naito said that he wants the liquid division to search for new business opportunities based on the keyword “green.”“Without looking solely at existing cargo, pay attention to trends in the renewable energy field, in addition to transportation demand for energy-related materials and supporting electric power businesses. LNG and the offshore business will be the mainstays of business with stable freight rates in the future,” he added.With regard to the dry bulk division, Naito expressed a belief that in the second half of last year the industry finally exited the long, seemingly endless dark tunnel hampering the dry bulk segment. Now that the market is recovering, it is time to advance structural reforms aimed at transforming all the efforts made with gritted teeth, he stressed.“This year, I hope to advance the group’s activities with a focus particularly on the keywords “green” and “digitalization,” i.e., strongly promoting environmental issues and the utilization of IoT. We are already making progress in both fields, and pressing forward to promote their use in practical operations that will allow us to realize a wide range of ideas and further differentiate ourselves,” Naito pointed out.As explained, promotion of “digitalization” and new technology such as autonomous sailing has the potential to advance the next generation of safe vessel operations.Naito added that the company plans to announce a new medium-term business plan this spring and indicate the process management that will be necessary to realize the plan.Naito concluded that the group’s business results are showing signs of improvement due to a recovery of market conditions and internal restructuring efforts.“We have set forth the goal of exhibiting the spirit of the 3 I’s (integrity, innovation, and intensity) by continuing to pursue innovation and staying a half step ahead of our competitors. In order to transform these goals into action, it will be necessary for each group company and each headquarters to hold free and vigorous discussions,” he went on to say.