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            june 15, 2019

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CILF 2019

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HMM CEO appealed to employees


Korea's Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) CEO Chang Keun Yoo appealed to employees to "put an end to this difficult period" by improving co-operation between departments.
"To operate 12 containerships of 23,000 TEU class from the second quarter of 2020 without interruption, all departments including sales, management, operations and IT need to cooperate," said Mr Yoo in his New Year's message.
HMM lost over US$500 million in the first nine months of last year, yet ordered $2.6 billion on new 23,000-TEU ships and eight 14,000-TEUers to be delivered from 2020.
"We will have to reform our global organisation in preparation for operating upsized vessels through reorganisation as well as the complementation and relocation of human resources," said Mr Yoo.
Delivery of the mega ships coincides with the end of three-year slot charter deals with the 2M alliance on the Asia-North Europe trade, noted London's Loadstar.
It seems unlikely that the agreement will be extended and Loadstar said HMM is already in discussions with the Ocean and THE alliances with a view to making an application to join.
The current arrangement with the 2M's Maersk Line and MSC, with HMM as a junior partner, has been frustrating for the carrier with several executives complaining that they were "always the last to know" regarding ship operations, resulting in uncomfortable meetings with customers over container shutouts and vessel diversions.
In his message, Mr Yoo boasted of HMM's "quantum leap" of achieving volumes of 4.5 million TEU last year, compared with three million TEU in 2016 when the carrier was restructured after near-financial collapse.
Mr Yoo said the jump in liftings was evidence of the "restored trust of our customers".


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