HMM in Alliance With Korean Carriers
HMM’s partners specialize in intra-Asia shipping and the consortium will cover those trade routes.
The new partnership, called HMM+K2, will be launched in March. Its services will cover Japan, China Southeast, and Southwest Asia.
The move comes after HMM, which is undergoing a crdditor-supervised reorganization, failed to gain membership to any of the major shipping alliances. The carrier was not invited to join THE Alliance or the Ocean Alliance, both of which will commence operations in April. HMM was thought be joining the 2M Alliance, comprising Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company, but those carriers rejected that notion last month, opting instread to enter a looser slot-exchange agreement with HMM.
HMM officials believe the new consortium will allow the carrer to be more competitive in the intra-Asian trades and that it will result in cost reductions and better customer service.
HMM+K2 includes vessel sharing, slot exchange and slot purchase, and it plans future deeper cooperation including joint investments in port infrastructure. The agreement allows HMM to fully access the intra Asia networks of the two other carriers.
Heung-A has a history of 53 years in the shipping industry and boasts a fleet of 30 vessels. Sinokor Merchant Marine, founded in 1989, currently serves 60 ports around the world. The HMM+K2 agreement, which was signed on January 3, is set to begin operations in March. The agreement shall be automatically renewed for successive two year terms.
The three South Korean shipping lines previously collaborated to support the local ocean freight market in the wake of the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy. Towards the end of September 2016, HMM, Sinokor, and Heung-A, along with Korea Marine Transport, formed the Mini Alliance, deploying 15 vessels on four Southeast Asian routes, covering Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, in an effort to minimize losses of the shippers in the region.