Sunday, July 18, 2010

Korean Container Shipping Line Targets New Markets

Hanjin Aim to Grab West African and South American Share
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH KOREA – In an interview with the Financial Times CEO of Hanjin Shipping, Kim Young Min, has stated the company’s intention to make an assault on the dominance which rivals such as Maersk, CMA CGM and Hamburg Sud have in the West African and South American cargo markets. The Hanjin boss was speaking after the inauguration of a new terminal in Algeciras, Spain. Hanjin began deploying three vessels to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina in February as part of a joint service from Asia via South Africa in conjunction with CCNI, Hapag-Lloyd, Wanhai Lines and Zim Line.

Hanjin undoubtedly felt that with Maersk and CMA CGM container facilities in Algeciras and Tangier reportedly at full capacity even in the depressed state of the market, there was room for a new player. Having purchased their first ever 10,000 TEU vessel in June, and with four more on order by 2011, Hanjin might well harbour ambitions to rise from their seventh position in the league table of container carriers world wide. The new and larger vessels are equipped with the most up to date eco friendly and fuel efficient engines to make them more competitive. Hanjin are obviously in no hurry to buy back the smaller vessels they lease back from their home countries Government to whom they sold them at the height of the financial crisis.

Like the other major carriers Hanjin are aware of their vulnerability in the uncertain conditions which prevail following last years slump in trade. The company needs to exploit the more profitable and expansive markets to tie in with their Asian/European services and the Algeciras terminal, with its reported $70 million price tag, is situated in an ideal position in the Straits of Gibraltar to lace the new targets together with the company’s existing trade lanes.