The order includes twelve above-20,000-TEU and eight 14,000-TEU mega boxships, which are considered to deploy in the Asia-North Europe and US East coast trades, respectively.

In addition, to comply with the new environmental regulations, HMM will opt for scrubber installation or LNG bunkering for all the newbuilding vessels after thorough discussions with the finally selected shipbuilder.

The company started on selection of shipyards by sending out its Request for Proposal (RFP) to shipbuilding companies on April 10.

If the shipbuilding process proceeds smoothly followed by the selection of the shipbuilder, signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) and finalizing its contract, all the new vessels will be sequentially delivered in the right time to prepare for the 2020 environmental regulations.

Through this new move, HMM seeks to secure stronger fleet competitiveness and to form a stable basis for making profits in the intensely competitive market.

Along with the fleet expansion, the company is going to set a new mid-long term plan to enhance its global competitiveness to promote business normalization & shareholder value, and to create added value between shipping and logistics for mutual growth. To do so, HMM will boost its organizational capability, develop IT technology adopted in shipping, and expand global networks.

These efforts are aligned with HMM's restructuring plan, implemented in the second half of 2013. HMM has focused on securing financial liquidity through KRW 4 billion restructuring plan including sales of controlling stake in affiliates and other property.

An HMM official said:

Through the acquisition of the most technologically advanced mega containerships, we can strengthen cost competitiveness and react rapidly to the international environmental regulations. HMM will do its best to become a global top carrier to meet expectations of related organizations and shareholders.