HMM ties the knot with MSC, Hapag-Lloyd and ONE for three South American services

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.

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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