On January 11, the Israeli-owned container ship operator Zim and the 2M Alliance, which consists of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), has announced a new vessel sharing deal that is of more apparent significance to Zim than the alliance.
Vessel sharing agreement
In an agreement that will see the capacity on the trans-Pacific (TP) strings, the TP8 and TP9, increased by around 500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). The TP8 service will be operated by four Zim vessels and three 2M ships, while the TP9 will have only 2M vessels on the rotation. Two further services between Asia and the Mediterranean region are included in the deal, but no further increase in capacity is expected on these routes. The vessel-sharing agreement is subject to regulatory approval but is due to start in March 2019.
A Maersk spokesman told, “There are no plans for further cooperation between the parties at this stage… what I can say is TP8/TP9 capacity will be increased on average by approximately 500 TEU to accommodate the ZIM volumes. There are no capacity changes to AE12 and AE15 [the two Asia to Europe services included in the vessel-sharing agreement]”.
ZIM President & CEO Eli Glickman hailed the agreement as a “game-changer” for the company and its customers.
The company said that they are proud to team up with the two largest players in the industry and to expand their cooperation with the 2M Alliance. The new strategic agreement means faster and more efficient service with better geographic coverage and extended direct port calls for the benefit of customers, in line with their vision to provide best-in-class service. It will significantly increase their ability to provide the ‘best of both worlds’: top-level line coverage combined with exceptional customer service and personal touch. The agreement is a game-changer, and confident it will support ZIM’s growth and profitability.
Mutual benefit to both parties
Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer of A.P. Moller – Maersk offered a more prosaic assessment after having successfully implemented the strategic cooperation and pleased to expand the partnership with ZIM into additional geographies. This agreement delivers mutual benefits to both parties, for Maersk it provides operational efficiencies that will enable a continued drive to deliver competitive and reliable products for customers in the world’s most comprehensive East-West network.
The latest deal is the second cooperative agreement announced by the container shipping lines, following the deal to share vessel capacity on Asia to the East Coast of North America services that were signed in July 2018.
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Source: Freight Waves