HMM extends program to help small companies ship goods
HMM is extending a program to set aside cargo space for smaller companies.
The company, which is Korea's largest shipper, said Friday that it signed an agreement with the Korea SMEs and Startup Agency (Kosme) to offer 50 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) on vessels heading to Europe through December. The company plans to extend its offering of 350 TEU on container vessels heading to the United States, which started in November, through December too.
Exporters continue to struggle to secure space on ships as Covid-19 has resulted in high demand.
The decision is part of the company's plan "to support Korea's small-and-mid-sized companies to gain competitiveness by offering smooth export through marine transportation," said Bae Jae-hoon, HMM CEO, in a statement. "As a representative shipper in Korea, [HMM] will have a sense of responsibility and put in its utmost effort to help cargo be transported smoothly."
"Uncertainties in marine transportation have escalated following the recent accident in Suez Canal and the rapid increase in global quantity of goods transported," said Kim Hak-do, President of Kosme. He vowed to "expand the number of vessels for small-and-mid-sized firms and stabilize marine transportation fees, along with the establishment of stable and sustainable logistics in partnership with HMM and related parties."
"It is particularly difficult for small-and-mid-sized companies to secure spots because unlike larger firms, they don't sign contracts in advance to secure spots on a vessel because the number of products they export is smaller in volume," said Kim Seong-min, a spokesperson for HMM.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]