HMM to share cargo space with SM Line on America route

2024.05.14 08:57:01 | 2024.05.14 09:06:25

[Courtesy of SM Line Corp.]이미지 확대

[Courtesy of SM Line Corp.]

HMM Co., South Korea’s sole ocean container carrier, plans to share cargo space with fellow Korean carrier SM Line Corp. on the America route.

According to industry sources on Monday, HMM and SM Line have recently submitted applications to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in the United States for cargo space sharing on their Asia to America routes.

This marks the first time that both companies will collaborate on cargo space sharing on the America route.

The shared cargo space will be applied to HMM’s PSX route (Shanghai - Busan - Los Angeles - Oakland) and SM Line’s CPX route (Qingdao - Shanghai - Busan - Long Beach - Portland).

Upon completion of the application process, the two companies are scheduled to commence cargo space sharing in June.

The collaboration between the two Korean carriers comes amid the backdrop of a significant global maritime alliance restructuring.

HMM faces the necessity of bringing in other shipping partners following the announcement by Hapag-Lloyd, the world’s fifth-largest shipping company, that it will withdraw from The Alliance, the global third-largest maritime alliance that HMM is part of, from February next year.

With Hapag-Lloyd’s withdrawal, it becomes challenging to enjoy the benefits of the alliance such as extensive transportation coverage and cost savings.

In such a scenario, HMM’s move is interpreted as actively pursuing cargo space sharing not only with foreign carriers but also with Korean carriers to strengthen its business network.

However, the industry suggests that HMM should demonstrate more active moves towards enhancing maritime alliances rather than engaging in isolated cooperation such as cargo space sharing.

Market watchers said it is essential to attract other globally-competitive shipping companies to The Alliance to maximize the benefits of maritime alliances by utilizing ships, containers, and terminals together and adjusting routes.

SM Line has a total cargo space of 68,504 TEU, which ranks 28th in the world, while HMM’s cargo space ranks 8th with 816,077 TEU.

By Choi Hyun-jae and Minu Kim

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