Hyundai Merchant Marine expands its Far East to Middle East trade lanes


Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has announced that it is expanding its Far East to Middle East trade lanes.

Previously, HMM has only operated a single route in the Middle East, named Korea-Middle East Service (KMS). Since sanctions on Iran were lifted in January 2016, the company expects cargo volume to increase. As a result, HMM has decided to reorganize KMS as ‘Korea-Middle East Express’ (KME), as well as introduce ‘China-Middle East Express’ (CME) in order to consolidate the company’s operations in the region.

The company expects the new services to boost HMM’s market share in the Far East–Middle East market from 8% to 13%.

The restructured KME service will be operated by six container ships: three with a capacity of 8,600 TEUs, and another three with a capacity of 6,800 TEUs. When compared to KMS, the new KME service will be able to deliver cargo approximately two days faster, according to the company.

HMM will also deploy six 4,600 TEU ships to the newly added CME service. With the new trade lane, the transit time from Shanghai, China, to Dammam, Saudi Arabia, will take 18 days. The CME service will also expand its coverage to Qingdao, Xiamen, Shekou and Dammam.

Furthermore, HMM enhance its service frequency by calling at Bandar Abbas, Iran, and Jebel Ali, UAE, twice a week instead of on a once a week basis in the past.

A spokesperson from HMM said, “HMM can now provide premium Middle East services with reorganized KME and newly added CME. Pivoting our new and best quality services, HMM will continue expanding its presence in Middle East markets.”

Source: Hyundai Merchant Marine

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