Report: South Korea’s Shipping Lines to Form Alliance

hyundai containership
Photo: Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

South Korea’s shipping companies are preparing to launch a domestic shipping alliance to help the nation better compete in the global container shipping industry in the wake of Hanjin’s collapse, according to local media.

The move comes amid continued consolidation in the industry and less than one year after the collapse of Hanjin Shipping Co., once South Korea’s flagship carrier and the seventh-largest container line in the world.

According to the South Korea’s Pulse News, the alliance, known as the Korea Shipping Partnership (KSP), will be announced on Tuesday by the Korea Shipowners’ Association, which will handle the administrative duties of the alliance.

The KSP alliance will include all 14 shipping container carriers in South Korea, including Hyundai Merchant Marine, the world’s 15th largest container line by capacity. 

“Under the terms of the agreement, they will cooperate to improve their collective strength through various measures including increasing shared cargo capacity, adding new shipping routes and co-managing overseas terminals,” the report said.

In October, Japan’s three largest container lines – K Line, MOL and NYK – announced a similar alliance, integrating the container shipping businesses of each member, including global terminals, into one single entity. The alliance, known as the Ocean Network Express, or ONE, will have a total capacity of around 2 million TEU, putting it in sixth place in the global rankings. The Ocean Express Network will launch April 1, 2018.

HMM is currently involved in a “strategic cooperation” with the 2M alliance, made up of Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company, but is not considered a full-time member.