Maersk won’t take over HMM 

The world’s largest shipping line, Maersk, has officially announced that it will not take over debt-ridden Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).

Maersk Line Asia Pacific Regional CEO Robbert van Trooijen said Tuesday that the company “does not have any plans to acquire HMM.”

Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s second largest shipping company, entered into a Vessel Sharing Agreement to jointly launch service in the East-West trades as early as next April. This alliance is known as 2M.

When HMM announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding for its membership into 2M with Maersk on July 14, speculation arose about the “real” reason behind the nation’s second-largest shipping firm’s bid to join the world’s largest shipping alliance.

The U.K.-based marine transport research agency Drewry said in a newsletter last month that there is no reason for Maersk and MSC to allow HMM to join 2M because HMM’s services would not appear to add anything to the alliance.

“Maersk Line has a strong presence in every corner of the world, but still needs to strengthen the Asia-America route,” said Trooijen. “HMM’s inclusion in the alliance will strengthen 2M’s presence on the trans-Pacific trades.”

It was the first time that a high-ranking Maersk Line official publicly revealed the reasons behind HMM’s inclusion in 2M.

2M has a 28 percent share in the global shipping market while having only a 15 percent share in volume in the Asia-America route. Having HMM in the alliance, the share is expected to reach around 20 percent.

A Maersk Line official said the company highly values the north Asian market and Korea would play more important roles in global shipping trades.

“Since Maersk Line established offices in Korea in 1990, we have been servicing thousands of customers, assisting them in reaching global markets and helping with their business operations. Plus, many of Maersk Line’s vessels have been built in Korea, including our famed Triple-E vessels,” said a Maersk official.

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