South Korean container shipping major Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is expected to add some 34 ships to THE Alliance’s network in 2020, according to data provided by Alphaliner.

Citing deployment plans revealed earlier by HMM, the shipping analyst said that the company would add up to 519,000 TEU to the network once it joins THE Alliance as a full member on April 1, 2020.

Although the alliance members have not yet disclosed their new network plans for the next year, Alphaliner noted that the Korean carrier’s ships are expected to be deployed on the following routes:

– Asia – North Europe route, where twelve 23,000 TEU newbuildings are scheduled for deployment from the second quarter of 2020;

– Asia – Med or Asia – US East Coast route would feature ten of the company’s 13,000 TEU ships, including three vessels currently chartered out to the 2M alliance;

– Asia – Pacific Southwest (USWC) route, where HMM would send six 10,000 TEU units, all of which are currently chartered out to the 2M;

– Asia – Pacific Northwest (USWC) route, where the company would deploy eight of its 8,600 TEU vessels.

Additionally, another eight HMM 15,000 TEU newbuildings are expected to be deployed on the Asia – US East Coast route from the second quarter of 2021.

Alphaliner further said that HMM is expected to cooperate with THE Alliance partners on the Far East – Middle East routes, although its participation in the trade is to be downgraded from the 13,000 TEU scale to tonnage of 5,000 to 6,600 TEU.

Apart from the newbuildings that the South Korean major would receive in 2020 and 2021, its fleet will be strengthened in April 2020 by redeliveries of nine 10,000 – 13,000 TEU ships currently (sub-)chartered out to Maersk and MSC.

The charters were among the conditions set for the 2M-HMM agreement that was signed in March 2017. It resulted in the withdrawal of HMM tonnage from the Far East – North Europe, Far East – Med and Far East – USEC routes.

The new arrangement with THE Alliance will allow HMM ships to return to the Far East – Med and Far East – USEC routes. At the same time, the carrier will be able to gradually replace the 5,000 TEU classic panamax ships that it started to send onto the Far East – North Europe route in 2018, with 23,000 TEU giants as of April 2020.

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