Following the expiration of its current alliance structures in 2017, Hanjin Shipping and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) are looking to form a new alliance with other container shipping lines, according to IHS Fairplay.
A Spokesman for HMM said: “The current structure of G6 will remain until March 2017, and nothing has been decided yet on how the alliance will be re-organised afterwards. HMM has already started sharing relevant information with other members to discuss re-organisation of the alliance. We are afraid, however, that no details cannot be made public as of this moment.”
A Hanjin Shipping Spokesman said: “Hanjin Shipping has been preparing for a new alliance and is in talks with some of the liners. However, we cannot disclose which liners we are talking to.”
PTI previously reported that the two lines were in a troubling financial situation, with HMM looking to sell its stake in Busan New Port for more than US$69 million in order to pay off debts worth more than $300 million.
An alliance is likely to be the only way that the two South Korean carriers can survive in a weak market as it will allow them to consolidate resources and share capacity with other lines.
The recent signing of the new OCEAN mega-alliance between CMA CGM, China-Cosco Shipping, OOCL and Evergreen Line is an example of this type of agreement, since around 350 container ships will be integrated in order to bring increased service reliability.
Drewry Maritime Research recently gave its view that the new alliance will put the carriers in good stead to compete with 2M.
The remaining eight lines left behind from the mega merger could also benefit from consolidating resources and have a good chance of competing with OCEAN and 2M, however, it has been mooted that smaller alliances would be more likely in the near term.
It remains to be seen how the alliance will affect ports and terminals, particularly in terms of partnerships, as some terminals are in joint-ventures with select alliance partners.