South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) will add a new independent Asia-North Europe Express (AEX) service to its offering starting from April 2018.
The company will deploy ten 4,600 TEU Panamax vessels in AEX service, which will be operated by HMM outside of the strategic cooperation with 2M.
The first sailing is scheduled to start on April 8. Port rotation of the new service is Pusan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Kaohsiung, Shenzhen, Singapore, Colombo, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Southampton, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Pusan.
HMM said that the decision was made on the back of an increased demand for Express Service.
During 2017, HMM’s handling volume surged to 4.03 million TEU, up more than 30% year-on-year, mainly in Asia, US and Europe trades.
In addition, the company said it plans to order new eco-friendly mega containerships in the first half of 2018 to comply with the new environmental regulation starting from January 1, 2020, and positively considers to deploy mega vessels in US and Europe services.
“New environmental regulations are expected to drive changes not only to the shipping industry but also to competitive market environments. I believe that HMM can secure competitiveness in a global market after 2020, if HMM arms itself with eco-friendly mega containerships in preparation of environmental regulations,” C.K. Yoo, CEO of HMM, said.
“The 2020 environmental regulation will be an important market-changing factor in shipping industry and the new independent AEX service will be the touchstone of a gamechanger,” Yoo added.
The AEX will be the smallest loop on the Far East – North Europe direct trade and will bring more classic Panamax tonnage back onto the route, according to Alphaliner.