Following the recent formation of a mega shipping alliance between CMA CGM, China Cosco Shipping, Evergreen Line and OOCL, Hapag-Lloyd AG and five Asian carriers will form a new vessel-sharing alliance entitled ‘THE Alliance’.
Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, ‘K’ Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Yang Ming have agreed to create a new alliance which will cover all East-West trade lanes namely, Asia-Europe/ Mediterranean, Asia-North America West Coast, Asia-North America East Coast, Transatlantic and Asia-Middle East/Persian Gulf/Red Sea.
A binding agreement has been concluded by all partners and ‘THE Alliance’ is scheduled to begin operations in April, 2017 subject to approval of all relevant regulatory authorities. The initial term of the cooperation will be five years.
The new partnership will build one of the leading networks in the container shipping industry combining approximately 3.5 million TEU or 18% share of the global container fleet capacity.
All six partners operate advanced and competitive fleets with more than 620 ships in total.
This is significantly more than the Ocean alliance which will have a total of 350 ships in its operating fleet.
The will become the basis of a dedicated fleet deployed into the groups’ future service portfolio.
Clients will be able to enjoy an outstanding product characterised by fast transit times, high frequency sailings and expansive port coverage.
Ongoing discussions between Hapag-Lloyd and UASC are progressing according to plan, although an agreement on business combination has not yet been reached and will in any event be subject to regulatory approvals.
PTI previously reported that Hapag Lloyd was in talks with UASC to form a merger that would aim to increase both carriers competitiveness amid an industry that is currently consolidating resources.
It is anticipated that UASC will become part of “THE Alliance”, which will increase the overall alliance capacity to more than four million TEU.
The member carriers said in a statement: “This agreement is a milestone and will enable the six partners of THE Alliance to offer sailing frequencies and direct coverage in the market.
“The unique product will feature enhanced port coverage in Asia, North America, Europe – including the Mediterranean – as well as Middle East.
“The network of THE Alliance will ensure frequent sailings, high reliability and very attractive transit times for all shippers in the East-West trade lanes.”
More details on the services and port rotations will be published when all necessary preparations are finalised.
Global carriers are combining resources in a bid to stave off the effects of the slump in global demand and if carriers are to have a chance of remaining profitable, forming an alliance may be one of the ways, especially for those left out of former agreements, to do this.