Some of the world’s largest (free agent) container shipping companies are set to unveil a new global shipping alliance to rival the existing 2M and planned Ocean Alliance, according to a report Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.
The new alliance is expected to be announced Friday and is to include Japan’s NYK Line, K-Line, and MOL, Germany’s Hapag Lloyd, South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping and Hyundai Merchant Marine, and Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine Transport, the report said.
The container shipping industry has turned to vessel sharing alliances as a way to reduce costs and boost vessel utilization amid the severe shipping downturn.
The 2M alliance involves container shipping giants Maersk Line and MSC. The alliance, which will span 10 years, has been in operation since January 2015 and involves a fleet of approximately 185 ships with a combined 2.1 million TEU capacity.
The recently announced Ocean Alliance will involve COSCO Container Lines, CMA CGM, Taiwan’s Evergreen Line and Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line. The alliance is scheduled to being in April 2017 and will run for a period of 5 years with a fleet of 350 containerships with an estimated capacity of 3.5 million TEU. The Ocean Alliance is still subject to regulatory approval.
Three other existing shipping alliances – Ocean Three, G6, and CKYHE – are all set to expire this year.