Ocean Network Express (ONE) is driving business and innovation within the container shipping industry. From its global headquarters in Singapore, the company is successfully navigating and addressing industry challenges while attracting young talent and raising future leaders.
Following the liner service integrations of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), ONE started operation on April 1, 2018.
The company’s global headquarters in Singapore is supported by regional headquarters in Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America.
Today, ONE is the world’s sixth-largest container carrier with a fleet size of approximately 1.6 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units).
Operating more than 210 vessels, the company offers an expeditious and reliable international network of over 140 weekly service loops to 120 countries. ONE is also a
member of the Transport High-Efficiency Alliance, or THEA, a global ocean carrier consortium.
The center of global shipping
K Line, NYK and MOL share hundreds of years of experience and combined knowledge and expertise in the global maritime industry.
The three companies have “grown global” over the years and today, ONE is charting its own path to success.
ONE chose Singapore as the best location to set up its global headquarters and efficiently operate its business. A unique place that offers cultural diversity, Singapore is also the leading global international maritime center.
The company recognizes that Singapore is the best place to grow its business and benefit from multiple industry synergies. It also has the full support of the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore and benefits from open communications with multiple maritime stakeholders.
Through a mutually sustainable and resilient joint venture, ONE also collaborates with PSA, a global port group headquartered in Singapore.
With the intention of encouraging further growth across Singapore’s maritime industry, ONE is employing and developing hundreds of local Singaporeans and permanent residents.
In addition to taking part in sustainability and educational initiatives, ONE participated in the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Young Leaders Awards in 2020 and 2021 and is a gold member
of the United Nations Global Compact Singapore chapter.
“ONE’s corporate social responsibility initiatives in Singapore include supporting COMCHEST. This fundraising and engagement arm of the National Council of Social Service, COMCHEST is dedicated to uniting communities in Singapore and caring for the vulnerable.”
Transforming ONE into a truly global company
While the company’s three stakeholders – K Line, MOL and NYK – are Japanese companies, the company’s Singaporean global headquarters has a wide diversity of local and international employees.
The company has operations in over 100 countries. This network of owned national offices and sales agencies has extensive local knowledge of its markets and customers.
ONE has a large number of Japanese customers; however, the company’s strength also lies in its ability to service a varied and globally diverse customer account base.
Rather than just following the “Japanese way,” ONE aims to adapt to the “best way” of doing business in each market. So in other words, it’s an international company that happens to be Japanese, rather than a Japanese company that just happens to be international.
Singapore and Japan
The relationship between Japan and Singapore remains as strong as ever and this year sees the two countries celebrate 55 years of bilateral ties. While both Japan and Singapore work closely across multiple industries and sectors, the shipping and maritime industries are becoming increasingly important.
One of the most important aspects of doing business is to be open and honest. Openness invites investment and enables people and businesses to thrive. Singapore and Japan have developed a deep understanding of one another over the years and today enjoy a strong, trust-based relationship.
The pandemic has impacted all industries, especially the maritime sector.
There is no doubt that while this has been a difficult time for the Singapore-Japan partnership, there is a strong confidence that both countries will once again soon become “wide open” to one another in terms of tourism and people-to-people exchanges.
A global view
ONE has a global view. Cargo demand is constantly changing and is affected by various global factors, including consumer behavior, commodity prices, economic situations and environmental challenges. These all have an impact on ONE’s business and the company’s success depends on its ability to adapt quickly to challenges.
The container industry is one of the ultimate forms of globalization. Ocean containers are internationally transparent and also used for inland transportation in many countries. This means that related rules, such as container movement data codes, terminal equipment, warehouse design or container repair criteria, are globally recognized.
A people business
Recognizing the importance of supporting and investing in people enables ONE to raise future leaders, better serve customers and enhance both its business and the industry.
Supporting and engaging with its employees around the world is important for ONE’s growth and success. Even before the pandemic impacted the way people work, ONE introduced Workplace from Facebook as an internal online collaborative software tool. Workplace facilitates ONE’s group work through messaging, video conferencing and announcements within the company.
Attracting young talent to the maritime industry is one of the priorities for ONE, and the company provides a holistic learning experience for young people interested in learning more about the industry and pursuing a career in shipping.
ONE’s Shipping Apprenticeship & International Learning (SAIL) Program is a two-year course offering a foundation in the container shipping industry.
“SAILors” develop business skills and maritime knowledge in line with ONE’s belief that it is extremely important to support young people and raise future leaders in the industry.
By continuously developing and improving its global training systems, ONE is providing an equal opportunity platform for its global employees to learn and share experiences and knowledge.
Technology and innovation
While the pandemic has had an impact on businesses and customers across all industries, it has accelerated digital transformation initiatives.
Accepting new ways of working through has benefited the shipping and logistics industries. ONE’s digital offerings to customers have been improved and include self-service and end-to-end e-commerce platforms in addition to future mobile applications.
Support channels such as “live chat” are being deployed to gradually transform ONE’s customer service approach from a transaction-focused practice into a more instantaneous solution-focused process.
The company’s key objective is to provide customers with accurate information through multiple channels, via its “omni-channels.”
Digitalization is proving to be a critical enabler for ONE and this continuous progress is helping to drive the company forward on its journey.
An ocean of opportunities
ONE supports talents bringing future technologies to the industry. The company sponsors Ocean of Opportunities (O3): A Shipping & Logistics Innovation Challenge, which is designed to strengthen collaborations between the shipping industry and start-ups with new ideas.
Environmental sustainability is an increasingly important aspect of ONE’s business.
ONE spares no effort when it comes to initiatives that have a positive impact on the industry. Despite being a new entity, ever since ONE was established the company has been involved in a number of important initiatives aimed at addressing environmental sustainability challenges within the industry.
The company elevated its endeavors to a whole new level in April 2021 by establishing its “Green Strategy.” Based on this plan, a dedicated department has taken charge of consolidating ONE’s existing efforts related to environmental sustainability. This strategic plan relating to new actions is helping to set ONE’s vision for maritime decarbonization.
In Singapore, ONE is a founding partner of the new Global Maritime Decarbonization Centre and is investing 10 million Singapore dollars to contribute to Singapore’s collective industry efforts to become a pioneering maritime corporate social responsibility leader.
In Europe, the company has completed two successful biofuel trials with a local vendor on its Atlantic Loop 5 service connecting Canada, the United States and Europe.
This initiative has enabled ONE to gain direct experience with adopting biofuels. While not overlooking its inherent drawbacks, this will pave the way for further exploration with this potential alternative fuel.
ONE has also recently formed its first industry-academia partnership with Rutgers Business School in the New Jersey cities of New Brunswick and Newark in the United States to address carbon footprint reduction.
This partnership will allow ONE to gain direct access to the academic resources of Rutgers Business School. Simultaneously, ONE will provide valuable experiential learning opportunities to Rutgers students as they work on environmental sustainability-oriented business projects hosted and mentored by ONE’s Green Strategy department.
After lockdowns disrupted the academic calendar, this initiative will carry a special meaning when the United States opens up and Rutgers Business School students return to campus and physical learning in the fall.
While ONE is off to a strong start, we must remain mindful of the fact that there is still a long way to go and the environmental sustainability journey is fraught with challenges.
As a company, ONE intends to remain vigilant regarding future situational changes and maintain full commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, particularly through its continued efforts to create an eco-system in which ONE works diligently with a wide spectrum of stakeholders.