South Korean engineering group Seojin Systems and compatriot container technology specialist Ace Engineering will establish a container factory in Vietnam in mid-2022, with support from the state-backed ship finance institution Korea Ocean Business Corporation (KOBC).
The factory in Haiphong will generate 4,000 boxes monthly, in line with the government's strategy to tackle the container shortage.
On 23 November, KOBC signed a business agreement with Seojin, Ace and the country’s flagship carrier HMM with regard to the supply of containers.
In March, KOBC had discussed tentative plans with compatriot ferry and resort operator Seaspoville to build a factory in one of the South Korean ports, but this plan did not materialise due to high land and manpower costs.
KOBC cited growing burdens on South Korean shippers due to tight equipment availability and shipping capacity, and said that it is putting in all effort to ease shippers’ pressure.
KOBC noted that while Chinese factories currently account for 99% of new containers, it is hoped that diversifying supply sources will alleviate the equipment crunch, especially for HMM, which has many cargoes from Vietnam.
Last year, KOBC began leasing containers to HMM, and opening a container manufacturing plant extends assistance in relieving the equipment crunch.
"To strengthen the competitiveness of local shipping companies, KOBC will continue to carry out container lease support projects, while continuing to diversify domestic and overseas sources to secure container supply," said the company.