With a history of nearly a century since its establishment in 1919, the “K” LINE Group has challenged innovative initiatives and overcome fiercely changing business conditions on many occasions while working tirelessly to ensure safe and reliable operations. 

Innovative Initiatives

Since its establishment, the “K” LINE Group—backed by a corporate culture based on an enterprising spirit and free and open-mind—has constantly embraced technological innovation as a pioneer in the industry to develop new types of vessels and services in response to the diversified, sophisticated needs of customers.


Our first full containership, GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, was completed.

A worldwide container evolution with the integration of maritime transportation, land transportation, and terminal operations has started in the 1960s. Against this background, our first full containership, GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, which began servicing the North American route in 1968, became a pioneer of containerization in Japan. Subsequently, all of the major routes were containerized by 1975. In 1971, we independently opened an overseas containership route, connecting between third countries, the Far East - North America Pacific Coast route—an unprecedented challenge at the time.


Japan’s first pure car carrier (PCC) TOYOTA MARU NO. 10 was completed.

Japan’s first car carrier, TOYOTA MARU NO. 10, was built by “K” LINE. We named it a “pure car carrier (PCC),” a term that then has become synonymous with such vessels. High-level quality control is required to ship automobiles, which are unpackaged cargo, without causing damage. The number of companies that can provide such service is limited. For half a century, “K” LINE has enhanced such service quality as a pioneer in automobile transportation, and built a solid position not only in Japan but also in third countries’ car transportation. 


Japan’s first LNG carrier BISHU MARU was completed.

Natural gas is attracting attention as a form of clean energy for power generation fuel and utility gas. LNG, liquefied natural gas at a temperature of –162˚C, was first imported into Japan in 1969. LNG transportation to Japan was entrusted to foreign shipping companies, but in 1983 “K” LINE’s BISHU MARU became Japan’s first LNG carrier, servicing the Japan–Indonesia route. To this day, we contribute to the long-term stabilization of energy supply in Japan.


The first intermodal transportation over land and sea among Japanese shipping companies was started on the North American continent using Double-Stack Train (DST).

Once it has been packed into a container, “Containerization” enables the integrated and connected transportation of cargo, using various transportation means covering the ocean, land, and air. Deploying these merits, “K” LINE in 1986 became the first Japanese shipping company to build a two-level dedicated container train, called Double-Stack Train, which serviced the North American continent. In addition to considerably, shortening transportation time, this led to much-greater accuracy of transportation schedules and contributed significantly to rationalization of logistics in the era of internationalization. 





Environmental Initiatives

We formulated our ““K” LINE Environmental Vision 2050: Securing Blue Seas for Tomorrow,” a set of long-term environmental guidelines to become a leading environmental company and have demonstrated our uniqueness by tackling advanced challenges. 


The super-sized (14,000TEU) container vessel MILLAU BRIDGE with the latest energy-saving technologies was completed.

In 2015, we completed construction of MILLAU BRIDGE, a very large (14,000TEU) containership. In addition to the enlargement of ship’s design to increase transportation efficiency, we adopted a host of innovative technologies, including state-of-the-art paint applied to the outer surface of hull plates to reduce frictional resistance to seawater, a bow cover to minimize wind resistance, and engine room fans to reduce power consumption in a vessel. Such kind of energy-saving technologies have enabled us to save operation costs, further strengthen competitiveness, and contribute to environmental protection.

DRIVE GREEN HIGHWAY, a car carrier with a capacity of 7,500 vehicles and the goal of becoming an ultimate energy-saving environmentally-friendly flagship, was completed.


In response to the world-wide serious environmental issues like marine pollution, ecosystem protection, air pollution, and global warming, DRIVE GREEN HIGHWAY, a large car carrier with a capacity of 7,500 vehicles was completed as our world-leading environmentally-friendly flagship. Combining multiple advanced environmental technologies, the vessel allows significant emission reductions of not only air pollutants (SO_{X}, NO_{X}) but also CO_{2}, a cause of global warming. She was awarded “Ship of the Year 2016” by the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers.


“K” Line Awarded “Climate A List ”by CDP, an International Non-profit Organization ~Receives Top Assessment of “A Rank” for Six Consecutive Year~

 “K” LINE has been selected for the highest evaluation on the “Climate A List” by CDP, the international non-profit organization (NGO) which carries out activities to achieve sustainable economies for six consecutive year. “Climate A List” status is given to companies that have been identified as global leaders for their corporate response to combat climate change. 

We have set environmental measures as one of the major pillars of our management plan. In November 2021, we revised our GHG (greenhouse gas) emission reduction target of the longterm environmental guideline “K” LINE Environmental Vision 2050 -Blue Seas for the Future- , which we released the revised version in June 2020, and we are taking on the challenge of raising our target even further to net zero GHG emissions by 2050. We have already introduced the first LNG-fueled car carrier and are also working to introduce various energy efficiency technologies, such as wind power propulsion “Seawing”. In the second half of the 2020 s, we aim to introduce zero emission vessels powered by new fuels and will not only reinforce initiatives for reducing our in-house GHG emissions but also actively support projects aimed at a decarbonized society. These initiatives include support vessels for projects related to the renewable energy field, such as offshore wind power, transportation of new energy sources, such as hydrogen and ammonia, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) transportation.