HMM inks consortium deals with two Korean intra-Asia carriers
HYUNDAI Merchant Marine (HMM) has signed a consortium agreement in Seoul with intra-Asia carriers, Sinokor Merchant Marine Co. and Heung-A Shipping Co. HMM said the agreement would allow it to more successfully compete with large carriers.
"HMM will have a full access on Heung-A and Sinokor's networks, which focus on Korea-Japan, Korea-China or Korea-South East/West Asia trades," a spokeswoman said, reported American Shipper.
In a separate development, the shipping line said that support from the Korean government "will enable HMM to order new vessels and acquire more terminals, which will eventually lead to improvement in long-term cost structure and earning power."
Since the Korean government announced a US$5.73 billion subsidy programme to boost the competitiveness of the shipping industry, HMM said the Korea Development Bank has played a vital role to set up "Korea Shipping," which it said will act as a shipping bank with a pot of US$881 million.
HMM said it expects Korea Shipping to provide it with $661 million in funds in early March by buying vessels from HMM and leasing them back "at a reasonable price, which will help HMM to strengthen its freight competitiveness."
HMM also said a new shipbuilding financing programme, Global Shipping Fund, will be launched in the first half of this year. It will support HMM in ordering new vessels and acquiring terminals or port equipment.