Japan’s First Pure Car Carrier
After Japan overtook the United States and became the world’s leading automobile producer in 1980, its automotive industry has continued to increase productivity to become one of Japan’s leading export industries. “K” Line, in early recognition of this potential as far back as the 1960s, began to sequentially formulate a bold strategy. Cars were generally transported on conventional cargo ships, however, “K” Line considered using specialized carriers in order to handle increasing exports. In 1968, the company launched TOYOTA MARU NO. 1, a car bulker that carried cars to North America and grain back to Japan.
However, it’s backhaul schedule was unstable and caused delay of subsequent car exports. In order to eliminate this problem, “K” Line built TOYOTA MARU NO.10, Japan’s first pure car carrier, designed exclusively for car transport, in 1970. The term “Pure Car Carrier,” or PCC, has become synonymous with car carriers in the industry. Afterwards, in 1973, “K” Line built what was then the world’s largest PCC, sparking a global trend toward larger PCCs. Since transport of cars involves carrying bare cargo without packing materials, it requires sophisticated quality control.
Accordingly, only a limited number of shipping companies possess the necessary know-how. As a pioneer in car transport, “K” Line does not limit itself to cars shipped to and from Japan; it has actively advanced into transport all over the world. “K” Line has contributed to the development of the world’s automotive industry and, in the process, established a solid position as a world-class car carrier.