South Korean liner HMM is increasingly targeting export volumes out of the Indian market as the emerging economy rapidly gains in trade development and manufacturing activity.
The carrier has introduced an additional port call at Itapoa in Brazil to its independent East Coast South America (ECSA) service, known as the FIL (Far East-India-Latin America).
The updated port rotation will be Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Jakarta, Singapore, Kattupalli, Santos, Paranagua, Itapoa, Navegantes, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Santos, Singapore, Hong Kong and back to Busan.
Launched at the end of 2021, the weekly FIL deploys a fleet of 12 vessels with an average capacity of 5,000 TEUs each.
HMM said the expanded rotation will help provide customers with greater connectivity to various regions.
“We believe that these added ports will greatly benefit our customers by providing more efficient and reliable transport options for your business,” the carrier said.
HMM further noted, “We are committed to providing customers with excellent service and meeting their transportation needs.”
For the Indian trade, the service features a single port call at Kattupalli. The first vessel to call Kattupalli under the expanded rotation will be the Hyundai Shanghai (voyage 0140W), due to depart from the port on 15 June.
Kattupalli is an emerging alternative gateway in southern India, owned and operated by the Adani Group.
HMM has been working around a cargo consolidation strategy to build up sufficient cargo to achieve the critical mass needed to make a single-port-call string commercially viable. To that end, cargo from India’s western coast, which typically includes sizeable ICD (inland container depot) contributions from the northern hinterland region, is connected via HMM’s China-India Express (CIX) service, which has regular calls at Nhava Sheva (JNPT) and Mundra, in addition to Kattupalli.
In addition, HMM recently began connecting shipments out of India’s eastern corridor, notably in and around Kolkata, on its regular calls at Kattupalli, aided by feeder arrangements. Much of the east coast cargo is usually transshipped over Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port or Singapore and, as such, this alternative mainline option is a boon for exporters/importers in this “feeder-centric” trade region.
According to new port data obtained by Container News, Kattupalli saw 58,330 TEUs last month, up from 50,896 TEUs in April 2022.