OIA Korea handles freight forwarding, client management, route planning, and many other typical branch duties. Busan, South Korea, is the optimal city for OIA’s new branch because of its strategic location and strong collaborative potential. It is a geographically small country, which creates many one-day transportation opportunities, and Busan already boasts a world-class port ranking as the sixth-largest container port and the second-largest transshipment port in the world.
OIA has utilized an agent network in Korea for decades, but this setup can be limiting since OIA’s clients come from different industries, including medical and laboratory equipment, energy and electricity, and chemical production, among many others. Now, with dedicated resources, the Korean team can provide the high-quality service that differentiates OIA from its competitors.
OIA Korea’s launch also strategically aligns with the Korean government’s stated goal of becoming a “global shipping powerhouse” by 2030. Koreans plan to launch a Korea-centric index for freight rates, the Korea Container Composite Index (KKCI), because they believe the Shanghai Index doesn’t adequately reflect local conditions. Additionally, the government has made significant financial commitments to the maritime industry, with more than USD $2B planned for projects:
- $700M to help smaller carriers restructure their finances
- $215M in direct aid for cash-strapped companies
- The Korea Ocean Business Corporation plans to invest $1.2B for nearly 50 new vessels by 2026.
- Increase Korea’s market share for high value-added ships to 75% by 2030.
- $100 billion in research and development for the shipbuilding sector
The Korean branch will maintain close collaboration with other OIA offices to deliver a full menu of service offerings across all shipment modes. The branch is well positioned amidst an overarching environment of growth and innovation.