Hyundai Merchant Marine will boost their global position thanks to investment by POSCO

The Korea Development Bank (KDB) will sell HMM (Hyundai Merchant Marine) to POSCO, a steel-making company headquartered in Pohan as part of a plan to privatise HMM, now ranked as the world’s 10th largest ocean carrier, reports BusinessKorea.

‘KDB recently reported an HMM privatisation plan to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance,’ a high-ranking government official said. ‘The ministry will start a full-fledged review with other ministries and agencies.’ KDB is the largest shareholder with a 12.61 per cent stake in HMM.

If POSCO takes over HMM, it will significantly boost the global competitiveness of the domestic shipping industry, analysts say. They say that a massive investment from POSCO will place HMM on a par with first and second ranked Maersk and MSC.

HMM targets to have 1 million TEU capacity by 2020

HMM’s tonnage will increase to about 850,000 TEU when all eight 16,000-TEU ships under construction by Hyundai Heavy Industries are delivered in the first half of 2021. HMM aims to attain its goal of one million TEU by 2022. If this plan is implemented without a hitch, it will recover to one million TEU, which is the combined tonnage of Hanjin Shipping and HMM in 2016.

If POSCO directly jumps into the shipping industry, it is expected to save POSCO trillions of won annually as the company will be able to integrate its affiliates’ logistics work.

The global shipping industry is competing for size expansion. Since the fourth quarter of 2020, shipbuilders received orders for 30 super-sized, 20,000+ TEU ships worldwide.