South Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) revealed its plans to take 5 percent of global market share by 2021 by means of various measures including its latest agreement to join the 2M network, local media reported.
Currently controlling 2.2 percent of global container capacity, the firm said it intends to improve cost competitiveness by focusing on the Asia-US route and raising wet bulk carriers rather than dry bulk vessels.
In addition, HMM will focus on raising revenues and operating profits, and improving service quality in the next two to three years, local media cited Yoo Chang-keun, HMM’s CEO, as saying.
HMM’s creditors, including the Korea Development Bank (KDB), agreed to inject about KRW 300 billion (USD 256.7 million) into the firm by this month.
On December 11, 2016, HMM reached an agreement with Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), members of the 2M alliance, to enter into a new strategic cooperation. The cooperation is a combination of slot exchanges and slot purchases between the three parties, as well as Maersk Line and MSC taking over a number of charters and operations of vessels currently chartered to HMM.
HMM’s CEO reportedly said that “it was the best result that the company could achieve.”
The company said that if HMM’s financial health and liquidity status improves after the period of three years, the 10-year membership in the alliance will also be available on the agreement.
Members of the alliance have been in discussions with the Korean carrier on HMM joining the 2M vessel sharing agreement (2M VSA) since July 2016.
HMM was looking to join the 2M alliance after its membership in the G6 alliance expires in 2017.
The move, which was made amid the current weak demand in the container shipping industry, was part of HMM’s debt restructuring plan.
Last month, HMM was selected as the preferred bidder for a terminal in Algeciras, Spain, owned by its bankrupt compatriot Hanjin Shipping.
Additionally, HMM and MSC jointly placed a bid earlier in December to acquire a stake in a container terminal at California’s Port of Long Beach, which is also controlled by Hanjin.
World Maritime News Staff