Ofers play tough with HMM over charter cut requests

Ofers play tough with HMM over charter cut requests

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is on track to finish negotiations with foreign shipowners by May 16 to cut fees on its chartered in fleet, multiple local media outlets in Seoul have reported.

Two or three owners out of 22 have still to reach an agreement with the Korean line with negotiations with Zodiac Maritime and Eastern Pacific believed to be the trickiest. The largest owners affected are Danaos (13 vessels), Zodiac Maritime (six), Navios Maritime Partners (five), Capital Ship Management (five) and Eastern Pacific Shipping (five).

83 of HMM’s 116 ships are chartered in. As part of its restructuring, creditors have demanded HMM slash its chartering costs by at least 30% – something compatriot line Hanjin Shipping is now also being forced to do.

In a letter sent by HMM’s ceo Paik Hoon dated February 1 to all owners the line charters from, the shipping boss stated: “Unless the time charter payments are significantly reduced … the company cannot survive.”

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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