German media report say that Hapag-Lloyd is in talks with United Arab Shipping Company to merge as the container sector continues to consolidate through alliances, mergers and acquisitions.
Manager Magazin says that discussions are at an advanced stage and could be announced as early as today.
Hapag-Lloyd shares are up over 10% in early trading on the back of the news.
Late last year Chinese giants COSCO and China Shipping merged, while CMA CGM announced the acquisition of Singapore’s NOL, sparking a rush by carriers to consolidate.
Just yesterday, CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Line and Orient Overseas Container Line signed a memorandum of understanding to form a new alliance covering the Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Asia-Red Sea, Asia-Middle East, transpacific, Asia-North America East Coast, and transatlantic trades. The Ocean Alliance, as the new partnership is called, has more than 350 boxships.