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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: What’s keeping MOL chairman Junichiro Ikeda awake at night?

Listen to the latest edition of the Lloyd’s List Podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

The Lloyd’s List Podcast moves to Japan this week, where MOL chairman Junichiro Ikeda shares his insights about what he considers to be biggest risks facing shipping and why MOL is looking to transform into a social infrastructure company


Mitsui OSK Lines chairman Junichiro Ikeda has worked at the Japanese shipping giant for more than 40 years and has witnessed many testing periods in the shipping industry.

Just two years after he joined the company in 1979, dry bulkers entered one of the worst historical downturns amid a global recession. And the market trough persisted until the second half of 1987, partly due to the order binge led by compatriot company Sanko Steamship, an event that was too painful to be forgotten by many within the sector.

Ikeda also recalls the great threat posed by the 2008 global financial meltdown, and the rat race among container shipping carriers that followed when he was heading MOL’s liner division.

Today, shipping is struggling to overcome being hit by multiple challenges at once. The two largest of them are arguably perils associated with the current rebalancing of geopolitical power and uncertainties arising from the industry’s battle against climate change.

Talking to Lloyd’s List’s Asia editor Cichen Shen for the podcast this week, Ikeda shares his insights into what he considers as the biggest risks facing shipping and how MOL is responding to the significant unpredictability lying ahead.

Every shipping company, of course, has its own response tactics, depending on factors such as the size of business, the markets it operates in, or the thoughts of its leadership.

However, the wisdom shared by the chairman of one of the world’s largest and oldest shipping firms should provide valuable reference.

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