Hyundai Merchant Marine is examining how best to restructure its network to tap into growing intra-Asia container volumes.
“Expansion of output in intra-Asia countries is expected to become broad and accelerate steadily,” the Korea-based line said in an e-mail exchange with the JOC. “China and India are key props to intra-Asia trade volumes. Growth is expected to return to a healthy pace in China, while external demand, solid consumption, a better monsoon season and policy improvements are expected to lift activities in India.”
The company’s long-term business plan includes expansion of its services to India and Indonesia, with new services to Southeast Asia also a possibility.
However, the carrier is more sanguine on the overall container market and major east-west trades because of vessel overcapacity and weak demand in 2013. With more ships scheduled to be delivered as the year progresses, carrier efforts to improve profits will focus on “service rationalization and cost reduction,” according to HMM, which said it currently has no plans to boost its own fleet.