South Korea’s leading container carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine Co (HMM) is considering launching a regular liner service via the Arctic Sea, a move that could cut transits between Asia and Europe considerably, reported Pulse.
South Korea’s largest ocean carrier is considering a trial operation from as early as 2020. A number of local logistics companies have ventured into the Arctic routes, but did not last due to lack of ships and crew expertise to navigate against the ice-packed waters.
The report quoted the local shipping industry saying that with a heavy fleet of vessels, human resources and ample commercial infrastructure is the candidate to become Korea’s first flag carrier running regular shipment via the Arctic sea route.
Hyundai is planning to deploy 2,500 to 3,500 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) vessels for shipment through the Arctic sea route.
Pulse cited an unnamed source commenting that a plan is being discussed to put a polar icebreaker before a commercial container vessel or use an ice-class vessel specially designed for ice navigation.