Yang Ming Slips As HMM And Zim Surge In Container Shipping


  • Yang Ming has slipped in the global liner rankings due to its cautious fleet expansion strategy, while competitors like HMM and Zim have surged ahead with aggressive fleet expansion initiatives.
  • HMM’s strategic ordering and charter agreements have propelled its operational capacity, while Zim’s asset-light approach has allowed it to rapidly expand its fleet through charter agreements.
  • Recent deliveries and charter agreements have further strengthened both HMM’s and Zim’s positions, surpassing Yang Ming in the global rankings despite Yang Ming’s recent fleet orders.

In stark contrast to Yang Ming’s conservative stance, South Korea’s HMM and Israel’s Zim Line have pursued aggressive fleet expansion initiatives. These efforts have involved a combination of newbuilding orders, acquisitions of second-hand vessels, and strategic charter agreements, enabling both carriers to outpace Yang Ming in terms of fleet size and operational capacity.

HMM’s Fleet Expansion

HMM has embarked on a significant fleet expansion spree, bolstering its fleet with orders for vessels of various sizes. This includes the procurement of 13,600 TEU, 9,000 TEU, and feeder vessels, along with charter agreements for additional capacity. These strategic moves have propelled HMM’s operational capacity to new heights, allowing it to surpass Yang Ming in the global liner rankings.

Zim’s Asset-Light Strategy

Zim has adopted an asset-light strategy characterized by a series of charter agreements to rapidly expand its fleet. This approach has seen Zim charter over 100 ships since the onset of the pandemic, including large newbuildings and vessels from reputable maritime partners such as Seaspan Corp and Navios Maritime Partners. By leveraging charter agreements, Zim has effectively increased its operational capacity, positioning itself ahead of Yang Ming in the liner rankings.

Recent Deliveries and Charter Agreements

Recent developments have seen Zim finalize the delivery of its final 15,000 TEU vessel, marking a significant milestone in its fleet expansion efforts. Additionally, Zim has entered into charter agreements for various vessel sizes, further strengthening its operational capacity and solidifying its position in the global container shipping market.

Comparative Capacity

Despite Yang Ming’s recent orders for 15,500 TEU ships, its total operational capacity remains lower than that of both HMM and Zim. This discrepancy underscores the divergent approaches to fleet expansion undertaken by these carriers and highlights the significant impact of strategic decision-making on carrier rankings within the industry.

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Source: The Loadstar