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Ocean Carrier Alliances

Beginning April 1, 2017, four of the existing ocean carrier alliances consolidated to three new alliances. The new alliance structure is an attempt by these ocean carriers to reduce operating costs; thereby achieving improved revenue. The impacts of such large alliances begin to raise certain questions, such as: What will the results be to global supply chains? the ports? and the marine terminal operators? We have created this page to capture updates on this topic, in an effort to keep our customers informed on recent activity.

What Could Alliances Mean?

  • Impacts on Global Supply Chains
    –   Fewer choices of routes.
    –   No guarantee that the shipments BCOs book with certain carriers will travel on those vessels due to slot-sharing arrangements
    –   As the alliances compete for business rate volatility could ensue
  • Impacts on the Ports–  Some ports could see their volume increase, while others could witness volume loss due to their geographic location and current infrastructure capacity
  • Impacts on Marine Terminal Operators   –  Ocean alliances will mean bigger ships deployed, this results in a need for taller cranes, larger yard space, expanded gate capacity, longer hours of operations, etc.

Key Information  (click on the below carrier links to access updated schedules)

  • Ocean Alliance:
    –  CMA CGM w/APL, Cosco Shipping, Evergreen Line, and OOCL
    –  Effective 4/1/17
    –   Largest share of the trans-Pacific trade at 40%
    –   Agreement will remain in place until 2022
  • THE Alliance:Hapag Lloyd-UASC, Yang Ming, MOL,‘K’ Line and  NYK Line
    –  Effective 4/1/17
    –   2nd largest share of the trans-Pacific Trade at 27%
    –   The 3 Japanese carriers will be merged into one liner operation in 2018
    –   Agreement will remain in place until 2022
  • 2M Alliance:Maersk Line (which is acquiring Hamburg Sud) and Mediterranean Shipping + HMM
    –   3rd largest share of the trans-Pacific Trade at 20%
    –   Agreement will remain in place until 2020

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