HMM latest liner operator to add fuel surcharge

Yoo Chang Keun
Yoo Chang Keun

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has become the latest shipowner to impose fuel surcharges on shippers to meet rising bunker costs arising from IMO 2020.

The South Korean flagship carrier disclosed the surcharge, which will be levied from 1 January 2019, during a session with shippers in the port city of Busan on 22 October.

Marine fuel prices have been rising in tandem with the recovery in oil prices, eroding the profit margins of shipping companies.

When the International Maritime Organization’s global sulphur cap kicks in on 1 January 2020, shipowners are expected to spend more on ensuring their vessels meet the emissions limits.

Maersk Line, CMA CGM, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, Orient Overseas Container Lines, and Ocean Network Express have already announced fuel surcharges.

HMM sought customers’ understanding, explaining that the surcharge was inevitable because of rising fuel costs.

HMM escaped bankruptcy last year after renegotiating long-term charter agreements and securing its banks’ support but still faces difficult market conditions that have so far prevented it from achieving profits.