Hyundai Merchant Marine will launch a new service to Europe from Asia. It is analyzed by some experts that the Korean shipping company’s cargoes to Europe were separated from services of 2M, a strategic alliance, showing its move for independence.
On February 28, Hyundai Merchant Marine announced that it will launch a container liner service linking Asia and northern Europe starting on April 8. A total of ten Panamax (4,600TEU) vessels will be put into operation and sail in the order of Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, Shenzhen, Singapore, Colombo, Rotterdam, Hamburg, South Hampton, Singapore, Hong Kong and Busan.
Hyundai Merchant Marine has been transporting cargoes in a manner to share holds with Maersk Line and MSC which belong to 2M since forging strategic alliance with 2M as world shipping alliances were reorganized into three alliances (2M, Ocean Alliance, and the Alliance) in April last year.
This service is an independent service which Hyundai Merchant Marine operates separately from 2M. The reason why Hyundai Merchant Marine created the new route to Europe is that shippers wanted more services. Last year, Hyundai Merchant Marine handled 403,000 TEUs of cargoes including those in the Asia-Europe and Asia-the Americas routes, up 30% from the previous year.
Hyundai Merchant Marine, with the support of the Korea Maritime Promotion Corporation, will order 20 container ships with 20,000 TEUs or more and 14,000 TEUs one after another and provide services to Europe and the Americas. Therefore, some experts say that the new route to Europe is the cornerstone of independence from 2M and the formation of other maritime alliances at the time of the reorganization of shipping alliances in 2020. "An increase in freights impelled us to launch our own independent route," Hyundai Merchant Marine explained. "Our strategic relationship with 2M will be maintained."