Hyundai Merchant Marine’s (HMM) order for 20 containerships has resulted in it taking a large leap up the global operator charts, setting its course for becoming the tenth largest globally.
The addition of 12 vessels above 20,000 TEU and eight of 14,000 TEU to the dominant South Korean carrier’s existing fleet would push the container shipping company up to the current size of Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine, which is the ninth largest line, according to Alphaliner data.
HMM’s orders, which will be sent to shipyards on April 10, 2018, are part of the Korean government’s plan to restructure the country’s shipping sector.
The new eco-friendly mega containerships will operate on the Asia-North Europe and US East coast trade lanes and advance HMM’s plan to control 5% of the world fleet by 2021 — around 1 million TEU, to achieve global competitiveness through sustainable shipping.
HMM has kept regulations in mind with its latest order, as it expects vessels to arrive before the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sets the maximum sulphur content bunker fuel oil from 3.5% to 0.5% on January 1, 2020.
Lars Jensen from consultancy SeaIntelligence recently forecasted the industry’s developments as far into the future as 2025 in his 'Liner Shipping in 2025' Port Technology technical paper
The carrier has confirmed that it will opt for either scrubber installation or LNG bunkering for all the newbuilding vessels.
Along with the fleet expansion, HMM said it plans to set a new mid-to-long term plan to enhance its global competitiveness by focusing on organizational capability, development of shipping IT technology and expand global networks.
An official statement by HMM said: “Through the acquisition of the most technologically advanced mega containerships, we can strengthen cost competitiveness and react rapidly to the international environmental regulations.”
“HMM will do its best to become a global top carrier to meet expectations of related organizations and shareholders.”