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South Korean flagship carrier HMM is said to have ordered a dozen 13,248 teu containerships from compatriot yards Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.
Brokers report that deliveries will take place from late 2024 to September 2025.
However, a spokesperson for HMM told The Loadstar: “We are considering new orders for containerships including 13,000 teu class, but no decisions have been made yet. We expect a conclusion this month.”
The orders are reportedly being made at the direction of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), whose minister, Moon Sung-hyeok, took the decision with HMM CEO Bae Jae-hoon, Korea Ocean Business Corporation president Hwang Ho-sun, minister of economy and finance Hong Nam-ki and minister of trade, industry and energy Sung Yun-mo.
HMM’s fleet would grow to 1.12m teu once the newbuildings were delivered, achieving ‘cost competitiveness’ on transpacific routes.
HMM, the largest liner operator in South Korea and eighth globally, recently took delivery of 12 24,000 teu and eight 16,000 teu vessels that have been deployed on Asia-Europe and transpacific services. Healthy demand has seen the carrier fill ships.
The MOF said HMM’s recovery from near-bankruptcy showed the government’s five-year plan, announced in April 2018, had succeeded in reviving South Korea’s maritime industry.
After years of losses, HMM, partly owned by the government, achieved a record operating profit of $831.1m in 2020, as container freight rates soared to unprecedented levels amid tight capacity.
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