Maersk Line says it and MSC are still trying to find a way to partner with Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) but the Korean line will not become a member of 2M, the vessel sharing alliance between Maersk and MSC.
In lieu of joining 2M as a member, Maersk Line said in a statement sent to Splash: “The parties are therefore discussing the possibility of HMM partnering with the 2M network through a slot exchange and purchase agreement.
“The partnership discussions are ongoing and include the possibility of Maersk Line taking over charters and operations of vessels currently chartered to HMM with the aim of deploying them in the 2M network.”
The discussions include how 2M can improve its products on the Pacific trade.
“There are many other and good ways to co-operate and we are sure that we will find a good model,” a Maersk spokesperson insisted.
Having been spurned from joining another container grouping, THE Alliance, HMM was desperate to join 2M. It had signed a memorandum of understanding with the 2M partners on joining, but this deal has since hit the skids.
An HMM official remained confident some deal would be struck with Maersk and MSC soon, telling Splash: “HMM joining 2M is under discussion in details and the discussion is likely to be concluded shortly. We go over the specifics in various forms and plan to make a formal agreement either in the end of November or early December.”
Alphaliner in its most recent weekly report warned: “The Korean shipping line is running out of time to either negotiate revised terms with the 2M, or to join a rival alliance prior to the April 2017 implementation of the new global ocean carrier groupings.”