HMM paying ‘heavy price’ for 2M deal

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) will pay a “heavy price” for access to the 2M services offered by Maersk and MSC, according to Alphaliner in its latest weekly report.

On Sunday the three companies revealed HMM had not gained full membership to the vessel sharing agreement. Instead, HMM would have to take a series of slot sharing deals.

The container analysts note that Maersk and MSC will take control of an unspecified number of vessels currently operated by HMM on the Asia – Europe and Asia – US East Coast (USEC) routes. These ships will be operated and marketed by Maersk and MSC, with HMM “relegated” to the role of slot buyer, Alphaliner reported.

“HMM’s ability to grow market share will be severely curtailed under the new agreement thrashed out last week,” Alphaliner maintained.

HMM’s slot buyer status on the key Far East – Europe and Far East – USEC routes, compared to being a vessel operator, will limit the shipping line’s ability to negotiate preferential terms with terminal operators, and HMM will largely become dependent on the 2M’s choice in terms of terminal selection, Alphaliner pointed out.

HMM had been in negotiations to join 2M for five months having been shunned by another container grouping, THE Alliance. HMM maintains it still could join 2M as a fully fledged member after three years if it can improve its financial performance.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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