"In the business environment surrounding the shipping industry, although the market, bunker prices, and foreign exchange are holding relatively steady, the market is at risk of unexpected volatility," president and CEO Junichiro Ikeda said in his annual message to employees, reported American Shipper.
"Changes in the trade structure, which we recognise as slow trade, and moves toward protectionism are also major concerns. However, we are well positioned to deliver profits this fiscal year and beyond, through execution of our newly established management plan."
The Japanese shipping company plans to make fundamental changes in its approach to strategic investment, in order to achieve these goals, Mr Ikeda said.
"Our existing businesses face major upheaval in the business environment," he said. "In this climate, we must recognise that our conventional approach to investment, based at times on a tendency to focus on balancing investments among our existing businesses, is no longer viable.
"From now on, we must work to reshape our business portfolio. This will be done by carefully selecting business domains and projects where we have competitive advantages, and preferentially allocating our capital and human resources to each of these areas."
MOL's head highlighted the importance of a smooth and successful combination of the container shipping businesses of Japan's "Big 3" ocean carriers - MOL, NYK and "K" Line - scheduled to launch joint operations soon.
"The integration of the containership operations of Japan's three largest shipping companies is a project of monumental significance," he said. "We definitely need all hands on deck to pursue this project, treating it as our very own core business. We must spare no effort to make the project profitable."