The Marshall Islands flag has its best year in South Korea in 2014, despite liquidity issues afflicting the country’s chaebol-linked shipping companies.
Annie Ng, head of Asia at International Registries, which handles registrations for the Marshall Islands flag, told IHS Maritime that it registered 51 Korean-owned ships totalling 3 million gt in 2014.
Ng said, “Although the big ship owners in South Korea aren’t doing well, we have been registering ships from the mid-sized Korean shipping companies. These companies are still doing well and are growing their fleets.”
Ng cited Sinokor Merchant Marine, Hyundai Glovis, and Polaris Shipping among the flag’s South Korean clients.
She said that since opening an office in Seoul in 2007, there has been good growth for the flag South Korean-owned tonnage. Kim Young-min is in charge of the Seoul office.
Hanjin Shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine, and Pan Ocean are among South Korea’s biggest shipping companies but they have been beset by high debts after the global financial crisis.
As of 31 March, the Marshall Islands flag has over 118 million gt of registered ships.
International Registries president Bill Gallagher said that German, Greek, Norwegian, South Korean, and US companies are among the Marshall Islands flag’s top five ownership groups in terms of registered tonnage.