HMM: from vintage fashion to giant capacity in 2020

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), the South Korean based shipping company, has launched an ambitious expansion plan, which seeks to double its current capacity over a period of four years.

Its goal is to reach a capacity of one million TEUs and an annual revenue of 10 billion dollars by 2022. This growth strategy is partly linked to its digital plan for connecting IT and Blockchain technology with its services in order to increase customer satisfaction.

The shipping company has not wasted any time in presenting its strategic plan to stakeholders, carefully designed to recover the confidence of the South Korean market after the collapse of Hianjin in 2017, the main shipping company in South Korea and seventh in the world. This has meant the new volume record for HMM in the port of Busan, with 1.157.980 TEUs from January to July 2018.

HMM’s current capacity is 410,000 TEUs but is awaiting its recent order of the construction of a fleet equivalent to 396,000 TEUs. A fleet of 1M TEUs would place HMM number eight worldwide, just behind Evergreen, placing it two scales above.

This is a soon-to-be reality, considering that in September, HMM signed a contract for the construction of 12 vessels with a capacity of 23,000 TEUs, to be delivered in the second quarter of 2020. By 2021, they expect to expand the fleet with 8 vessels of 15,000 TEUs.

Panamax used by Hyundai in its Asia / North Europe service.

The new timings match the end of its three-year commitment to the 2M alliance for the Asia / North Europe (AEX) charter service. Additionally, as of April of this year, HMM has started a new (independent of the alliance) Asia / North Europe service which is carried out with ten vessels of only 4,600 TEUs of capacity, the so-called Panamax.

This is a temporary measure taken until the company starts receiving their new mega-ships in 2020. Temporary yes, but effective (good transit times) and economic it seems that too.