Five South Korean liner operators began their code-sharing arrangement on intra-Asia routes on 1 September.

HMM, SM Line Corporation, Pan Ocean, Sinokor Merchant Marine and Heung-A Line have started joint intra-Asia services under the K-Alliance that was engineered by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) and state-backed ship finance provider Korea Ocean Business Corporation last year.

There are 13 South Korean liner operators active in the intra-Asia segment and the MOF was concerned about growing competition from foreign rivals in what is already a saturated market. However, while all the liner operators were invited to be part of K-Alliance, membership is voluntary and none of the other liner operators were obliged to join in.

The K-Alliance members plan to collect cargoes in Asia for transhipping to the US and Europe.

South Korean liner operators have around 200,000TEU of capacity in the intra-Asia segment, but with more newbuilding orders, expect to increase this to 250,000TEU in 2025.

Source: Container News