Cosco and China Shipping sign ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’

Beijing: A long expected closer firming of ties between the nation’s top two shipping lines has taken place. Cosco and China Shipping have signed a Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement whereby the two sides will establish a comprehensive strategic partnership and a resource sharing mechanism in areas of shipping, terminal operation, logistics, shipbuilding, and ship repair.

“The agreement will help the two companies achieve advantage complementation and coordinated growth, and be better prepared for industrial changes, so as to improve the influence of Chinese shipping companies in the world shipping industry,” the pair said in a release.

The coming together follows a 2012 agreement between the two groups’ container lines on domestic routes.

Crippled by massive debts, Beijing has demanded that the two work more closely together before further funding is made available. Both companies are embarking on a fleet buildup after a very tough couple of years financially.

Both leaders at each organisation have worked at both companies in high up positions.

Commenting on the news, Charles De Trenck, a well known transport analyst in Hong Kong, told SinoShip News: “This is a sign of weakness coming on the heels of a lack of initiative for years and years. It is welcome. But one has to wonder why now.” [18/02/14]

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