Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., South Korea's leading shipping line by sales, said Monday it will allocate two ships on the China-Australia routes to meet growing demand for cargo.

Hyundai Merchant has partnered with global shipping firms APL and Evergreen Marine Corp. to assign five 4,600 twenty-foot equivalent unit container carriers -- two from Hyundai Merchant and three from the two shipping lines -- on the routes linking China's Ningbo and Yantian and Australia's Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne starting Aug. 17, the company said in a statement.

"The premium Australia No. 1 Express, or A1X, service will help the company offer competitive shipping services to customers in Australia," the statement said.

Hyundai Merchant has served its customers by shipping their cargo through container carriers held by global shipping firms, such as Maersk Line, MSC, ONE (Ocean Network Express) and Hamburg Sud Line, not its own ships, it said.

As of May, Hyundai Merchant operated 89 ships -- 54 container carriers and 35 bulk ships. It earns 80 percent of its overall sales from its container ship business, and the remaining 20 percent comes from its bulk cargo operations, the company said.

Source: Yonhap