The global container carriers Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Mitsui OSK Lines of Japan, South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping, Taiwan’s Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp, and Hapag-Lloyd of Germany are creating a new alliance.
It 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.
To be known as THE Alliance, it is scheduled to begin operation in April next year, subject to approval of all relevant regulatory authorities, and the initial term of the agreement will be five years.
According to a joint statement, the new partnership will build “one of the leading networks in the container shipping industry combining approximately 3.5mn teu or 18 per cent share of the global container fleet capacity.”
“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 the 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.” All six partners operate fleets with more than 620 ships in total.
The South Korean Hyundai Merchant Marine has been left out of the new agreement for now, due to a restructuring process in which the line is expected to become a subsidiary of state-owned Korea Development Bank (KDB).