Korean feeders to join HMM in new intra-Asia alliance

Korean feeders to join HMM in new intra-Asia alliance

Heung-A Shipping is joining two other Korean feeder operators to form a new intra-Asia alliance.

South Korea's No. 2 liner operator Hyundai Merchant Marine will form an intra-Asia alliance with local feeder operators Korea Marine Transport, Sinokor Merchant Marine, and Heung-A Shipping.

The quartet, termed Mini Alliance, will deploy a total of 15 ships with the cooperation set to begin this month, although a formal contract would only be signed at the end of November. HMM said that collaborating with other operators would enable efficient transportation of containers in intra-Asia routes.

The intra-Asia alliance will start joint services on the Gwangyang-Busan-Singapore-Malaysia and Gwangyang-Busan-Ulsan-Indonesia routes. These would replace Hanjin Shipping's Incheon-Busan-Indonesia and Gwangyang-Busan-Vietnam/Thailand services.

HMM will deploy one ship with a capacity of 5,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units, one 2,800-TEU ship, two 2,200-TEU ships, and one 1,700-TEU ship to Mini Alliance.

The company recently pulled off a remarkable escape from bankruptcy by successfully lowering charter costs and rescheduling bond repayments. It also announced plans to join the 2M from April next year, and this new Mini Alliance will add a solid intra-Asia service to the vessel-sharing agreement with Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co.

With Hanjin Shipping now in receivership, HMM has been helping to plug the gap, deploying 13 ships to the former's trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe services.

Contact Xiaolin Zeng at arachelle0@gmail.com.

A version of this story also appeared on IHS Fairplay, a sister product of JOC.com within IHS Markit.