South Korea’s top maritime flag carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. is going all out to secure new cargo orders from major retailers in the United States as it is set to launch new ultra-large container ships next year.
Bae Jae-hoon, president and chief executive of Hyundai Merchant Marine has met major cargo owners in the United States during his visit to the country to host the company’s summer business strategy meeting for the America region from July 8 to 9, according to Hyundai Merchant Marine on Thursday.
The CEO met officials from the U.S. largest retail company Walmart, online retailer Amazon.com, home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc., and general merchandise retailer Target Corporation, the Korean container carrier said.
Under the Korean government’s plan to rebuild the country’s shipping industry and groom Hyundai Merchant Marine as the country’s top flag carrier, the shipper has placed orders for 20 mega-sized container vessels in September last year with an aim to begin the operation of those new ships in the second quarter of next year. Of them, 12 units of 23,000 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) container ships will be used in the Asia-North Europe route and eight units of 15,000 TEU vessels in the U.S. route.
[Photo provided by Hyundai Merchant Marine Co.]
During the business strategy meeting that took place in Dallas, the U.S., earlier this week, Bae also asked employees to fully prepare for stricter environmental regulations to be enforced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) starting January next year. The CEO emphasized it is important for the company to be fully ready before it joins The Alliance, one of the world’s major vessel-sharing groups in April next year.
Under new rules adopted by the IMO, which will be effective on January 1, 2020, all vessels operating in international waters will be required to lower sulfur emissions from the current 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent. To meet requirements, vessel operators will have to install a Scrubber system or a desulfurization system, or replace ship fuel with low sulfur oil or liquefied natural gas.
Hyundai Merchant Marine will install a Scrubber system on all 20 mega-sized container ships ordered last year, becoming one of the well-prepared shippers for stricter IMO rules.
By Chun Gyung-woon and Lee Eun-joo
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