In a bid to monitor shipping alliances more closely, China, the US and the European Commission have recently agreed to strengthen their co-operation, according to gCaptain.
PTI previously reported that there was speculation regarding an imminent merger of Neptune Orient Line (NOL) and Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) after NOL’s announcement that it will sell off its logistics unit, APL Logistics.
The European Commission said: “With the continued growth in scope of carriers’ cooperation, the authorities considered that monitoring of the sector warrants ever closer contact and better communication between competition and regulatory authorities.”
There has been further speculation surrounding another likely merger between CMA CGM, CSCL and UASC’s ‘O3’ by adding fourth shipping line, Hamburg-Sud to its alliance, thereby making it ‘O4’.
As alliance sizes grow, shipping lines are able to achieve their lower costs per unit more easily. However, ports are scrambling to spend ever more on infrastructure, as it currently the case in the US, and leaving many ports deciding on the best course of action.
As containership sizes have increased by around 1200% in the last 50 years, it seems that ports will need to find quick solutions for projected increases in ship sizes.
Drewry argue that more advanced crane technologies may be the only solution for more effectively handling bigger ships, but issues still remain regarding who will foot the bill for better equipment.