Home » Breaking News, Maritime » Hyundai Merchant Marine to join THE Alliance

South Korean container shipping liner Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is joining THE Alliance as a full member, a good development for the leading Korean carrier after it was refused full membership by 2M Alliance, with whom its limited cooperation expires April next year.

With this, THE Alliance will establish a new cooperation with four members—Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express (ONE), Yang Ming, and HMM—and a term until 2030.

The actions were agreed in Taipei on June 19, 2019. Subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, the new contract between the four lines will start on April 1, 2020.

2M partners A.P. Moller-Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co. were reportedly keen to cast out HMM after the latter ordered 20 mega container ships that would further increase capacity on the already crowded Asia-Europe trade lanes.

Of the 20 mega ships, twelve are 23,000-TEU vessels to be delivered in the second quarter of 2020. The remaining eight are 15,000-TEU newbuildings that will join HMM’s fleet in the second quarter of 2021.

“HMM is a great fit for THE Alliance as they will provide a number of new and modern vessels, which will help us to deliver better quality and be more efficient—and it will help us also to further reduce our emissions,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, in a statement on July 1.

“We are very happy to see HMM join THE Alliance, as their membership will allow us to offer enhanced services to our customers due to a wider port coverage, expansion of our product offerings, more sailing frequencies and a better balance of our cargo flows,” said Jeremy Nixon, CEO of ONE.

HMM’s membership will significantly strengthen the competitiveness of THE Alliance against the other two alliances, 2M and Ocean Alliance, which is comprised of Cosco Shipping, CMA CGM, and Evergreen Marine, said the statement.

“HMM joining THE Alliance is an important milestone for THE Alliance as it will help us to provide a broader service network to the customers and facilitate the advance of the development of THE Alliance starting from next year,” added Bronson Hsieh, chairman and CEO of Yang Ming.

THE Alliance was founded by Hapag-Lloyd as well as NYK, MOL and “K” Line (which merged to become Ocean Network Express) and Yang Ming. It started its cooperation on April 1, 2017.

In 2017, HMM had forged a strategic cooperation with 2M involving slot exchanges and slot purchases among the three carriers. Inclusion in a global alliance was one of the key conditions of HMM’s creditors for it to avoid court receivership and get needed financial support as the carrier continued to suffer revenue losses.

Photo: Zandcee

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