Subject to regulatory approval, South Korean carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) will join with ONE, Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming in THE Alliance, when its slot charter agreement with the 2M expires next April.
The agreement signed in Taipei, Taiwan also saw the founding members extend the duration of their alliance until 2030.
Hapag-Lloyd chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen said: “HMM is a great fit for THE Alliance as it will provide a number of new and modern vessels, which will help us to deliver better quality and be more efficient – and it will help us to also further reduce our emissions.”
Ocean Network Express (ONE) chief executive Jeremy Nixon said he was “happy to see HMM join THE Alliance”. He claimed this would improve sailing frequencies and provide “a better balance of our cargo flows”, while Yang Ming’s chairman and chief executive, Bronson Hsieh, said it was “an important milestone for THE Alliance”.
HMM has a $2.6bn orderbook for 12 scrubber-fitted 23,000 teu vessels, which will be delivered in the second quarter of 2020, and eight 15,000 teu ships on order for delivery 2021. The latter vessels will be deployed in HMM's Far East - Northern Europe lanes.