Container carriers unveil plans for new “OCEAN Alliance”
Ocean carriers CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen Line and OOCL revealed they will form a new alliance next April.
Ocean carriers CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Line and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a new carrier agreement they are calling the “OCEAN Alliance.”
The carriers said the alliance will enable each of them “to offer competitive products and comprehensive service networks covering the Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Asia-Red Sea, Asia-Middle East, Trans-Pacific, Asia-North America East Coast and Trans-Atlantic trades.”
“This new partnership will allow each of its members to bring significantly improved services to its respective customers,” member carriers said in similar statement. “Shippers will have an attractive selection of frequent departures and direct calls to meet their supply chain needs, including access to a vast network with the largest number of sailings and port rotations connecting markets in Asia, Europe and the United States.”
“The Alliance will also bring service reliability and the most efficient integration of the latest vessels in a fleet of over 350 containerships. Initially the deployment will cover more than 40 services globally mostly connected with Asia, including about 20 services each in the U.S. and Europe related trades.”
Subject to regulatory approvals of competent authorities, the new Alliance said it plans to begin operations in April 2017 and that the initial period of the agreement would be five years.
U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner William P. Doyle made the following announcement: “I appreciate CMA CGM, COSCO, Evergreen and OOCL officials visiting the Federal Maritime Commission yesterday to discuss their future plans of an alignment. I look forward to reviewing and studying their formal filing of a vessel sharing alliance once it is is filed with the Commission.”
COSCO, which recently merged operations with rival China Shipping said, “Today is a great day for COSCO Container Lines. OCEAN Alliance is a better match for our globalization strategy. We will provide customers with more selections and improved service world-wide.”
CMA CGM is also in the process of acquiring APL.
The combined carriers would be a strong rival to the 2M alliance between Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., the two largest container carriers.
According to figures on Alphaliner’s Top 100 carrier website, the OCEAN Alliance carriers (including APL) currently own and charter 1,113 ships (444 owned, 669 chartered), which combined, have 5,381,333 TEUs of capacity. In addition, the carriers have 102 ships on order with a combined capacity of 1,305,682 TEUs. Of course, only a portion of those fleets will be involved in the new Alliance, with some ships deployed in trades not covered by the deal, and carriers may change their fleets as a result of the restructuring.
In contrast, 2M Alliance members, Maersk and MSC, have 1,085 ships (457 owned, 628 chartered), which combined, have 5,707,535 TEUs of capacity. In addition, Maersk and MSC have 67 ships on order with a combined capacity of 908,000 TEUs. American Shipper 4/20/16