Hanjin sees Algeciras as base for expansion
Hanjin Shipping intends to compete with Europe's heavyweights in the West African and South American trades after it opened a new terminal in the Mediterranean transshipment port of Algeciras last week.
Hanjin Chief Executive Kim Young Min told the Financial Times at the opening of the terminal last week that the Korean line will marshal its resources toward those growing trades, using the new Spanish hub as a way point from Asia and Europe.
'We have already started the West Africa service — that is already playing its part,' Kim said. 'We're looking at a service to South America from here, so this will be an important beachhead for our north/south trade penetration. Obviously, it's not going to be easy from day one. I have no illusion about that'
Traditional powers in trades to and from West Africa are Maersk Line and CMA CGM — each with powerful local subsidiaries and larger fleets than Hanjin — while Maersk and Hamburg Sud own a dominant share on routes to and from South America.
Maersk already operates its own hub in Algeciras, but Kim said that terminal is largely full — a pointed corroborated last month to American Shipper by officials from Maersk subsidiary Safmarine, who said transshipment cargo is already falling to Port Said because of capacity issues at Algeciras.
The Hanjin terminal, operated under its traditional Total Terminals International moniker, has capacity for nearly 1.6 million TEUs per year and can accommodate the largest vessels in operation, which largely ply the Asia/Europe trade.
Hanjin was granted a 30-year concession to build and operate the terminal in 2008. The carrier runs six mainline services through existing berths at the Spanish port.