Jae-hoon Bae also will meet with employees, shippers and the head of the IMO during a visit to Europe less than a month after becoming head of the South Korean carrier.
Jae-hoon Bae, who was appointed chief executive officer of Hyundai Merchant Marine less than a month ago, is traveling to Europe where, among other things, he will meet with representatives of the 2M Alliance, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company.
Bae will strive “to consolidate the relationship with 2M, Maersk and MSC, currently under an agreement of strategic cooperation with HMM, by visiting Denmark and Switzerland,” said the South Korean carrier.
His visit follows reports in the press raising questions about the future of the HMM’s relationship with the 2M. For example, in December The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources that told it HMM “likely will pull out of the 2M shipping alliance when a tie-up deal expires in early 2020.”
That echoed a report from Business Korea that analysts had told it HMM was “considering joining a new ocean alliance when its ties with the 2M Alliance expire in April 2020” because its “contract is disadvantageous to HMM as it is not a full member of the alliance. Lately, HMM’s status fell as the 2M Alliance inked a partnership deal with Israel’s ZIM Integrated Shipping Services.” It cited analysts who opined, “HMM is likely to join the Ocean Alliance,” which includes France’s CMA CGM, China’s COSCO and its OOCL affiliate, as well as Taiwan’s Evergreen.
In response to a query from American Shipper, an HMM spokesman said Tuesday, “Of course, we will be definitely reviewing how to deal with the alliance issue for the future, but please be advised nothing has been internally decided yet on this matter at the moment.”
Bae, who was named president and CEO on March 27, left for London on Monday “to strengthen the business relationship with not only major customers in Europe but global top-rated carriers” and return to Korea on Friday.
He will first visit the European headquarters of HMM in London “to encourage its employees and make sales strategies based on the character of each region after gathering the various opinions from the site. Furthermore, he will lead an effort to reinforce the trust of its valued customers through business meetings.”
He also is set to speak with fellow South Korean Kitack Lim, the secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to share opinions and views on the IMO 2020 environmental regulation and upcoming regulatory measure on CO2 emissions.