VESSEL REVIEW | JFE Kokuryu – Japanese-built Ro-Ro with innovative cargo handling system

Photo: Japan Marine United

Japan Marine United (JMU) has handed over a new freight-only Ro-Ro vessel to compatriot shipping company Asuka Kisen for operation under charter with JFE Logistics Corporation.

JFE Kokuryu will be used to provide sea transport services for JFE Steel Corporation. As with its near-identical sister JFE Hakuryu, the vessel boasts a cargo deck that is capable of handling wheeled vehicles as well as palletised freight, allowing for efficient loading and unloading operations.


The newbuild has an LOA of 115 metres, a beam of 22 metres, a deadweight tonnage of 5,026, a gross tonnage of 8,611, and capacity for up to 3,700 cubic metres of palletised freight. Space is also available for 16 crewmembers and additional personnel while a Hanshin Diesel Works 8L35MC6 main engine propels the vessel to a maximum speed of 14.7 knots. Three generators supply power for the various onboard systems.

JMU said the vessel is an improved variant of an earlier Ro-Ro series that boasted improved efficiency through the incorporation of a fully automated onboard cargo handling system with a side-mounted loading/unloading platform for use by heavy wheeled vehicles. Other key improvements include the installation of a second cargo deck to enable more palletised freight to be transported on each trip.

Construction of JFE Kokuryu was completed in compliance to ClassNK rules.

JFE Kokuryu
Type of vessel: Ro-Ro vessel
Classification: ClassNK
Flag: Japan
Owner: Asuka Kisen, Japan
Operator: JFE Logistics Corporation, Japan
Builder: Japan Marine United
Length overall: 115 metres
Beam: 22 metres
Deadweight tonnage: 5,026
Gross tonnage: 8,611
Capacity: 3,700 cubic metres
Main engine: Hanshin Diesel Works 8L35MC6
Generators: 3
Maximum speed: 14.7 knots
Other equipment installed: Thermal oil heater; pallet cargo handling system
Type of fuel: Diesel
Crew: 16

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