Date: Wednesday, September 6th, 2023
HMM, the South Korean flagship carrier being readied for sale, is the only containerline in the world whose average boxship size is above 10,000 teu.
Analysis by Alphaliner shows how reliant four Asian carriers are on the main east-west trade lanes and how this is reflected in their average ship size with HMM sticking out in particular (see chart below).
Remarkably, HMM, the world’s eighth largest carrier, has seen its average boxship size nearly double in the space of just five years, the analysis from Alphaliner shows, while at the other end of the table, Israel’s ZIM is the only carrier whose average ship size has actually shrunk since August 2018.
HMM’s 71-vessel fleet includes twelve recently delivered 24,000 teu megamax ships and eight new 16,000 teu neo-panamaxes.
According to Alphaliner, the four Asian carriers with the highest averages – HMM, Evergreen, ONE and Yang Ming – tend to deploy between 65% and 70% of their fleet in big east-west services, whereas the big European names have a strong network in regional trades which require smaller short sea ships and/or feeders.
MSC, for instance, the world’s largest containerline, only deploys 32% of its capacity on the two big east-west routes.
The second round of bidding to take HMM private is now underway. Harim Group, which controls Korean line Pan Ocean, has teamed with a local private equity firm for its bid. It is joined in the second round by LX Holdings and Dongwon Group, Korean firms with interests in logistics. A preferred bidder set to be announced by early November with the state creditors keen to get the sale completed by the end of the year.