Hanjin dumps CSX in Hong Kong

Hanjin dumps CSX in Hong Kong

Hanjin Shipping Co., South Korea's largest ocean carrier, is switching its Hong Kong operations March 1 to Hongkong International Terminals Ltd., ending a long relationship with CSX World Terminals Hong Kong Ltd.

CSXWT, the former Sea-Land Orient terminal and a unit of U.S.-based CSX World Terminals, is the territory's smallest box handler.

"Hanjin kept a long-standing relationship with CSX, but the contract ends at the end of February," a spokeswoman for the line said.

"The main reason for the relocation is that the strategic alliance, CKY-HS, has a "one port, one terminal' policy to facilitate terminal service. Hanjin is switching because most other members of the CKY-HS work there."

The alliance comprises China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., Japan's Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. ("K" Line"), Yang Ming Line of Taiwan and Hanjin and its Senator Lines affiliate.

The spokeswoman said the move reflects the alliance's objective of sharing lanes, vessels and terminals to improve service and quality.

Hanjin did not disclose its volume through Hong Kong, but industry sources estimate it at 600,000 TEUs in 2003, or about half the throughput at CSXWT. Hanjin said it handled 1.9 million TEUs worldwide through the first nine months of last year, up 11.7 percent on the year-earlier period.

CSX did not respond to requests for comment. Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd., parent of leading Hong Kong operator HIT, said it "does not comment on commercial issues."

Hanjin in 2003 ordered five 6,500-TEU vessels for delivery between September, 2006, and May, 2007, to replace five 5,600-TEU ships and boosting capacity on services linking China and Europe by 16 percent.

Five ships with capacity of 7,500 TEUs are also being built for the line.