Earlier this week, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) sent out a newsletter to its customers explaining that it has begun talks with Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) to join the 2M alliance. With HMM cutting down their recent debt issues and successful meetings with shareholders, the Korea-based shipping company has shifted focus onto forming an alliance for the future.
HMM is currently a part of the G6 alliance, which also includes APL, Hapag-Lloyd, MOL, NYK Line and Orient Overseas Container Line. The alliance’s standing contract is set to expire in March 2017 but due to the recent alliance shifts in the industry, HMM must plan ahead to avoid the risk of being unattended in a world predicated on partnerships. Both the Maersk Line and MSC are part of the most powerful and profitable shipping companies in the world – joining the 2M alliance would help HMM cut costs and improve both service and ratings.
Lars Jensen, CEO and partner of SeaIntelligence Consulting, believes that Maersk Line might be considering buying HMM in the future. Maersk Line surprised many analysts recently with their profitable first quarter despite the slow-down in the industry. By accepting HMM into the alliance and taking over in the future, Maersk Line is looking to further the gap between itself and its competitors.