Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, “K”Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Yang Ming have announced an agreement between the parties to create a new alliance covering all East-West trade lanes namely, Asia-Europe/ Mediterranean, Asia-North America West Coast, Asia-North America East Coast, Transatlantic and Asia-Middle East/Persian Gulf/Red Sea. According to the announcement, a binding agreement has been concluded by all partners and “THE Alliance” is scheduled to begin operation in April 2017 subject to approval of all relevant regulatory authorities. The initial term of the cooperation is to be five years.
The new partnership is expected to combine approximately 3.5m TEU or 18% share of the global container fleet capacity. All six partners together operate more than 620 ships in total and this is expected to become the basis of a dedicated fleet deployed into the groups’ future service portfolio.
Further to this announcement, it was also noted that ongoing discussions between Hapag-Lloyd and UASC are progressing according to plan, although an agreement on business combination has not yet been reached and will in any event be subject to regulatory approvals. It is anticipated that UASC will become part of “THE Alliance”, which will increase the overall alliance capacity to more than 4m TEU.
More details on the services and port rotations are expected to be published when all necessary preparations are finalized.