A fall in market demand has forced Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) shipping line to consider reducing its box ship fleet.

The company’s fleet of 120 vessels could be cut to nearly 60.

The Japanese group is not expected to renew its chartered tonnage contracts and will scrap 21 ships.

NYK reported a $280m pretax loss, which was expected to rise to $370m for the full year.

NYK said it has implemented a number of cost saving mechanisms including vessel lay ups and rate increases on lucrative routes.