Post-restructuring Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has been keen to develop business lines in partnerships wherever possible. Its latest breakthrough was announced yesterday; a liner consortium with MSC, Hapag-Lloyd and ONE, the new Japanese mega line, which will focus on services from Asia to the west coast of South America.
The new joint services will connect South Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan with the west coast of Mexico, Peru, Chile, Columbia through three loops starting at the beginning of April.
“HMM expects to consolidate its position in the Far Asia – west coast of South America market with high growth potential, and HMM will do its utmost to optimise profitability through the services,” a spokesperson for the Seoul-headquartered line said.
Two years ago HMM went through a fierce restructuring during which time it was shunned by one container grouping, THE Alliance, forcing it to seek a vessel sharing agreement on the main east-west trades with Maersk and MSC, the two partners of the 2M grouping. Since coming out of this restructuring HMM’s lack of scale compared to its peers in the global liner trades has seen it seek partnerships to compete. On intra-Asia, for instance, it fostered a pan-Korean alliance with almost every other Korean carrier.
Partnerships have not been limited to its liner activities. In the past week HMM formed an alliance with Singapore’s AAL, launching a number of Asia – Middle East breakbulk services.