South Korean line HMM has been accepted into THE Alliance, becoming the fourth member of the liner grouping set up by Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express and Yang Ming in 2016.
HMM will join the alliance as a full member, with a new contract between the four lines set to officially start on April 1, 2020. Additionally, all four members have agreed to extend the partnership for 10 years through to 2030.
Previously, HMM was aligned to the Maersk and MSC alliance 2M, but was only able to negotiate a vessel sharing agreement which was due for renewal next April.
Jae-hoon Bae, president and CEO of HMM, commented: “Being a full member of THE Alliance gives us a lot of pride. We are convinced that we will be successful and generate additional value for our customers, employees and shareholders with combined experience, strategic skills, competitive fleet and strong focus on our clients´ needs.”
HMM currently has twelve 23,000 teu and eight 15,000 teu vessels on order. The 23,000 teu vessels will be deployed in the Far East – North Europe trade, which THE Alliance expects to strengthen its offering.
Commenting on the news, Copenhagen-based container analyst Lars Jensen looked at what the HMM switch will mean for the transpacific trades in a post he wrote on LinkedIn yesterday. THE Alliance will match the Ocean Alliance on the transpacific with 19 services come next April, while 2M will drop to just 11 services.