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Supply Chain Woes Force Murata to Ship Lithium Batteries by Air

  • With ships at full capacity, Murata has turned to air freight
  • President sees car component shortages persisting into 2022
Norio Nakajima at a news conference on Oct. 12.
Norio Nakajima at a news conference on Oct. 12.Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Demand for Murata Manufacturing Co.’s lithium-ion batteries is so strong the Japanese firm can’t make enough of them for its own use. But inflated freight costs mean the business is likely to record a loss this year, yet another victim of the ongoing supply chain chaos.  

The battery unit is unlikely to report a profit this fiscal year, after Murata resorted to transporting its products by air, President Norio Nakajima said in an interview. The company had previously pledged to turn the division around by March, ending a string of losses since it bought the business from Sony Group Corp. in 2017. Still, Murata is seeing rapid growth and plans to accelerate investment to beef up production capacity, Nakajima said.