“Honor, reliability, trust and respect: These are the key values when doing business in Japan” said Jean-Frederic Brion, executive chairman of Conti-Lines. “Exactly because of these values — which are paramount in the Japanese culture and in the way they do business — our company is drawn towards the Japanese market.”
Established in 1923, Conti-Lines, a subsidiary of Conti7 Maritime Holding Group, is a family-owned shipping company with a rich tradition of owning and operating ships.
Offering first-class specialized maritime transportation services using a diversified fleet of handysize to ultramax dry bulk vessels, the company has worked closely with Japanese partners for more than 70 years and these relationships continue to evolve. It all started with Kennedy Hunter (a group entity of Conti7) being a dedicated agent for a Japanese car carrier business in the early 1950s.
Conti-Lines has been chartering Mitsui OSK vessels to Latin America on a regular basis since 2003.
In 2005, both companies further strengthened their business venture by setting up an operating partnership for carrying Japanese steel from leading producers and traders to markets in South America and Africa.
“In recent years, our relationship has widened, resulting in increased tonnage and a rise in business we do together,” Brion explained.
“We have purchased second-hand vessels from Japanese owners and entered into long-term chartering contracts with them. Over the years, our relationship with major Japanese trading houses steadily intensified and, as such, our commitment to the Japanese market has significantly strengthened.”
With major growth seen across the global shipping industry since January, Brion is bullish about the future.
“We see a great deal of potential for Conti-Lines to expand further. We have always had a broad cargo base and are now capitalizing on this strength by enhancing our tonnage capacities, reaching out to new customers and increasing the number of routes we offer. These specific and challenging tasks are entrusted to my son Jean (director and a third-generation family member) and his professional and highly qualified team.”
“In the next five years we expect to see a major upturn in our activities and it is an exciting time for us. To reach this point in its journey, Conti-Lines has ‘sailed’ exceptionally well, even through rough seas. Today we are in a good position and we look forward to further developing our business and establishing even closer ties with our friends in Japan.”