Favorable Reviews Call it an Amazing Realization of New and Unconventional Innovation

TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. yesterday announced that the MOL-operated next-generation FLEXIE series car carrier received the Good Design Award (*) 2018, from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JDP).

This year, MOL's FLEXIE won the award for the first time in nine years as the only winner from the shipping industry.

MOL's Next-generation Car Carrier FLEXIE Series Wins Good Design Award 2018 (Video)
Caption: 1st car carrier of FLEXIE series, Beluga Ace - Image courtesy of MOL

Judges highly evaluated the design, saying. "It's great that the FLEXIE realized unconventional innovation as an outcome of re-defining the car carrier. It's notable that the space onboard the vessel was rearchitected using the design concept. Flexibly liftable decks allow loading of vehicles with different heights. As a result, loading efficiency was improved by 6.25% from the conventional type of car carrier, and this enables the vessel to meet new transport needs. Another point-the FLEXIE realized accuracy and a high level of safety by adopting augmented reality (AR) and latest IoT technology in its operational system."

The FLEXIE series' hull design boldly presents the letter "A", representing the global brand of MOL Auto Carrier Express (MOL ACE), and a white line, which expresses the company's determination to connect its long history of customer service to the future in a seamless manner. As of October 3, 2018, two vessels in the series are in operation, and the number is to increase to four by March 2019.

MOL continually provides high-quality car carrier services with the aim of becoming the world leader in safe operation and protecting the environment, with MOL's state-of-the-art fleet, which adopts the new design to meet demands for transport of not only completed cars, but also diversified cargoes such as construction machinery and railway vehicles under its MOL ACE global brand of car carrier transport service.

Specifications of FLEXIE Series:

  • Length: 199.9 m
  • Breadth: 32.2 m
  • Capacity: 6,800 units (standard passenger vehicles)

[ FLEXIE Series 3 Main Features ]

1. Design for Society

"More functional, fresh visual impact, FLEXIBLE."

The functional design represents a dramatic rethinking, for example, by increasing the number of liftable decks to six from two on conventional carriers, to meet diversified transport demand. In addition, the hull design marks a sharp contrast to conventional car carriers, and boldly features the letter "A," representing the MOL ACE global brand, and a white line, which expresses the company's determination to connect its long history of customer service to the future in a seamless manner.

2. Hardware Aspect of Design

"From Hull to Engine Creating an Eco-friendly Ship with Advanced ECO Technology."

The FLEXIE series vessels adopt an array of advanced environmental technologies, which were developed in the MOL Group research and technology project, "Senpaku ISHIN project," successfully achieving a reduction of 13.7% in CO2 reductions compared to conventional vessels.

3. Software Aspect of Design

"Full Application of Latest IOT Technology. For Safe, Secure Vessels."

The FLEXIE series aims to realize safer, more reliable, and more secure operations by introducing a navigation information display system that adopts augmented reality (AR) technology for the first time, and adopting vibration sensors to diagnose machinery. These technologies have great potential in realizing future automatic ship operation technologies.

Source: MOL