US Approve Gargantuan 2M Expansion


Global carrier alliance 2M, consisting of Maersk Line and MSC has been given the go-ahead to expand its vessel-sharing agreement that will allow it to connect US trade lanes to Russia, Israel and Saudi Arabia, according to the Journal of Commerce.

The alliance was given the green light after a 45-day review expired on Thursday, July 23 without any action taken by the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).

William Doyle, Commissioner of the FMC, said in a statement: “This amendment added no new substantive authority beyond that already contained in the agreement, and is not likely to result in a significant reduction in competition.”

To read an infographic detailing the workings of the 2M alliance, click here

Under the obligation set out by 2M’s agreement with the FMC, the carriers must operate roughly 92 vessels on their trade lanes.

Ship capacities along these will range from 4,000 to 13,000 TEU.

Drewry recently argued that 2M have the edge over its competition, and had 31% ‘effective capacity’ at the start of 2015.

To read a Technical Paper by Neil Davidson of Drewry on the implications of mega-ships, click here

The alliance has also raised questions as to the extent by which each carrier’s performance has improved since the 2M alliance began operations. Maersk and MSC have improved container reliability by 4% and 10%, respectively, since operations begun.

The alliance has also welcomed container line MOL into one of its weekly services, in a bid to boost overall competitiveness.

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