South Korea Aims to Restore Shipping Fleet with Mega Container Vessel Order

Shipping News Feature
Intent is to Carry One Million TEU and Leapfrog Chinese Rivals

SOUTH KOREA – Hyundai Merchant Marine (

HMM

), seemingly basking in the fact that it is now South Korea's main global container carrier following the collapse of Hanjin Shipping, has announced plans to increase its box capacity to 1 million TEU with an initial order of twenty newly built eco-friendly mega containerships; twelve above 20,000 TEU, for the Asia – North Europe routes, and eight 14,000 TEU vessels, for shipping on the US East coast trade lanes.

Currently the twelfth largest container shipping company in the world with just over 350,000 TEU, the strategy is to bring its capacity to 1 million TEU over the coming years will see HMM leapfrog OOCL (which will most likely have been integrated into Cosco China Shipping before the end of the year if it finally gains approval in the US) to take eighth place, just behind Evergreen.

Considering factors including the recent increase in new shipbuilding prices and dock availability, HMM has sent out its Request for Proposal (RFP) to shipbuilding companies and, with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) moving forward with a marked reduction in the maximum sulphur content bunker fuel oil from 3.5% to 0.5% on January 1, 2020, HMM says that it will opt for scrubber installation or LNG bunkering for all the newbuild vessels after holding thorough discussions with the finally selected shipbuilder, in order to comply with the new environmental regulations.

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