Zim is to expand its intra-Asia regional services through a new joint venture with Vietnam’s Hai An Transport and Stevedoring.
Lotus Link will operate domestic shipping services in Vietnam, and will serve Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang and Haiphong, as well as satellite ports where access to international and domestic shipping is limited.
The joint venture will also provide landside logistics services including trucking and customs brokerage.
“With the rapid expansion of manufacturing activities to satellite provinces, this joint venture provides Zim with the operational flexibility to extend its reach and expand the scope of services offered to its customers,” said Zim Vietnam country manager Abraham Elias. “We hope to support the development of industries by providing valuable access to international markets through ZIM’s global coverage.”
Lotus Link plans to launch its first service in March, deploying Vietnam-flagged vessels to serve both local and international trades. The joint venture will be headquartered in Haiphong and plans to expand its presence in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang later this year.
“This is a significant development for both companies,” said HATS general manager Mark Vu. “It is especially meaningful for Hai An as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in domestic shipping this year and plans to expand its regional operation. Our joint venture with Zim will offer more choices for Vietnam importers and exporters and help save in logistics cost.”
HATS has a fleet of 10 containerships ranging in size from 787 teu to 1,794 teu, according to data from Lloyd’s List Intelligence. It has a further two 1,800 teu vessels on order.
Zim announced plans to expand into the intra-Asia market in an interview with Lloyd’s List in 2021.
“We are looking at all the options that are open for new opportunities, including mergers and acquisitions,” chief financial officer Xavier Destriau said. “We are looking at options to acquire smaller shipping lines that would operate in the regions where first of all we have a very strong footprint and where we also see potential for significant growth. That is relevant for the intra-Asia trade, especially in Vietnam and Thailand, countries that are growing fast.”
Mergers, acquisitions or, in this case, joint ventures, would give Zim the “licence to operate” in regions where it might not be able to operate alone, he said.
Source: Lloyd's List