S. Korea to deploy ships to cushion exporters from soaring freight rates
South Korea will deploy at least five vessels by the end of February to support exporters facing increasing freight costs amid soaring demand.
According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, HMM Co., South Korea's leading shipper, will send a ship with a capacity of 4,600 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) on the American route in January.
It would be followed within the month by another HMM with a 5,000 TEU capacity headed for Europe.
In February, SM Line Corp. will deploy 3,400 TEU and 6,500 TEU ships to the US.
South Korea said that while it expects the global freight costs to gradually decrease after mid-February, it will still support exporters as the price decrease would be slow.
The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, which shows the level of current sea-route freight rate, sharply increased from 1,023 in January last year to 2,885 as of Friday, demand for shipping steadily rising amid the pandemic.