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Hankook Strengthens Logistics Capabilities with Hapag-Lloyd AG Partnership

Through Hankook signing a long-term partnership deal with the world’s fifth-largest liner shipping company, the partnership will help ensure a stable source of shipping containers and sustainable logistics services.

Hankook Fortifies Its Global Competencies via New Partnership

2021 has been a fraught year for ocean freight. The global shortage of shipping containers, primarily caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to severe port congestions and all-time high freight prices.

There have been intense price rises for container costs recently, including a 500% price increase of container costs from the US to China, and container costs rising to close to $14,000 from China to Europe. The problem arose once the pandemic was fully underway and customers buying online when shops were closed, with the huge volume of items causing congestion across depots across the world.

With depots having to register unloaded cargo as a result of ships for empty containers having limited space, combined with fewer available slots for container ships, reduced industry staff and various vessels needing necessary refurbishments to boot, the industry was seeing internal problems stunting the industry. With the problems showing no signs of abating, Hapag-Lloyd has been proactively increasing its container stock. 

Away from freight travel, with Christmas around the corner, HGV shortages across Europe have added additional pressure to the situation making for a pincer effect in the transportation industry of dual problems biting at businesses. This perfect storm of problems helps explain why Hankook has put its faith in a long-term contract with Hapag-Lloyd.

Hapag-Lloyd AG is a German shipping company with over 150 years of experience. Providing liner services between all continents, the company has 257 modern ships within its operation. Hankook and Hapag-Lloyd’s contract signing is a significant step based on a close partnership of more than 20 years between Hankook and the German shipping company.  

The signing ceremony took place at the Hankook headquarters’ Technoplex on December 7 2021. Sooil Lee, CEO of Hankook Tire & Technology, Jongho Park, Chief Administrative Officer of Hankook Tire & Technology, Hans Schaefer, Senior Managing Director Region Asia of Hapag-Lloyd, and Minkyu Choi, President of Hapag-Lloyd Korea, were all on hand for the signing.

Under the agreement, Hapag-Lloyd will provide a stable supply of shipping containers, plus sustainable logistics services from 2022 to 2024, in line with Hankook’s sustainability goals.

“We are delighted to partner with Hapag-Lloyd in this long-term agreement that will help enhance Hankook’s export capacity while stabilising our global supply chain amid a volatile environment,” explains Sooil Lee. “We believe this strategic cooperation will ensure a resilient ecosystem which will further fortify our global competencies, especially in times of uncertainty.”

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