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New container alliance to be revealed this week

A new container alliance will be revealed in the next couple of days.

William Doyle, from the US’s Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), has revealed that representatives of a number of containerlines will meet with the FMC today to outline their new alliance and they could then announce the new lineup by the end of this week. Doyle did not give away which companies are involved in the new alliance, saying: “It may not include all of the remaining eight carriers, but it could eventually.”

The eight carriers mentioned are those left out from new or existing alliances. 2M continues with Maersk and MSC, while the Ocean Alliance, comprising CMA CGM, China Cosco Shipping, OOCL, Evergreen and possibly APL, is set to start in Q2 next year, shredding the CKYHE and G6 alliances apart.

“That a third alliance would be created has been expected for a long time,” commented Lars Jensen from SeaIntelligence Consulting. “We have for a while been of the opinion that it is unlikely that all eight carriers would join into a single alliance – simply because the sheer number of divergent interests would make it difficult to design a cost-efficient network, and furthermore that it would be difficult for eight members to agree to act quickly when market conditions change.”

Jensen suggested that carriers left out of the new alliance will over time be unlikely to remain major players in the east-west trades and may disappear altogether. In the short term they might be able to survive through slot charters with the three new alliances, Jensen maintained.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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