14 shippers form alliance to boost competitiveness

SEOUL-- A group of 14 local shipping firms launched a business alliance on Tuesday so they can work together to develop new shipping routes and operate overseas terminals.

Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Pan Ocean Co. and 12 other shipping companies that are mainly involved in routes in the Asian region will cooperate to boost their profitability on routes to Vietnam, Indonesia and other countries through restructuring efforts.

Under the alliance, named the Korea Shipping Partnership (KSP), they will share ships under a code-sharing scheme.

Earlier, Hyundai Merchant and two local shippers have forged a similar shipping alliance, a move apparently aimed at overcoming the downturn hurting the entire industry.

Their alliances come as Hanjin Shipping Co. was declared bankrupt last year under heavy debts and mounting losses.

Hanjin Shipping, previously the nation's largest shipping firm and the world's seventh largest, was put under court receivership in September last year, as its creditors, led by the KDB, rejected its self-rescue plan.

Hanjin Shipping and local shippers have been under financial strain due to falling freight rates stemming from an oversupply of ships and a protracted slump in the global economy.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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