THE Alliance Discloses Its Expanded Service Network

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THE Alliance announced its launch of 20-21 network schedule, with fewer weekly services on 1 April, reports The LoadStar.

Despite the incorporation of HMM and its newbuild ULCVs, THE Alliance (THEA) will still lag behind its 2M and Ocean alliance rivals in terms of the number of services and big ships deployed between Asia and North Europe.

FE4 Asia-North Europe service

The Ocean Alliance’s east-west network, also launching on 1 April, will feature seven Asia to North Europe strings, while the 2M, expected to announce its network changes later this week, currently has six loops servicing the tradelane.

There are five Asia-North Europe loops on THEA’s new east-west network, which includes the deployment of new partner HMM’s 12 24,000 teu ULCVs on the FE4 Asia-North Europe service.

Slot-charter agreement 

THEA founding partner Hapag-Lloyd recently announced it had signed a slot-charter agreement with 2M partners Maersk and MSC. The deal has created much speculation in the industry that 2M is the only alliance to offer direct services between Asia and the Scandinavian ports of Gothenburg and Aarhus.

The new THEA schedules

According to the new THEA schedules, the FE4 loop will call at the UK’s London Gateway at the expense of Southampton, which instead switches to the FE2 service.

Le Havre call to be drop

The consultant also notes that the current Le Havre call will be dropped on the FE3 and FE4 strings, but added to the FE2 service to compensate.

New calls at Qingdao and Busan 

In Asia, the FE4 service will feature new calls at Qingdao and Busan and there will be a double call at Algeciras en route, with the transit time of the loop extended by a week to turn in 12 weeks.

Unchanged FE1 and FE5 Asia-North Europe loops 

THEA will continue to operate its FE1 and FE5 Asia-North Europe loops on a pendulum pattern, linking the US west coast, while for Asia-Med, Alphaliner said the alliance would maintain its current three loops “largely unchanged”.

Rationalisation of transpacific US west coast service 

As a consequence of HMM joining THE Alliance, the schedule will see some rationalisation of services on the transpacific US west coast, where the South Korean carrier operated its own vessels in co-operation with the 2M, rather than the slot-charter arrangement it had for North Europe. 

US west coast services from Asia

THEA will offer eight US west coast services from Asia, of which the FP1 and PS7 loops are pendulum services linked to Europe.

Weekly services to be reduced

The total number of weekly services operated by THE Alliance to be reduced by three, compared with last year, after accounting for the individual services that HMM currently operates on its own.

Asia loop for HMM vessels return

For the US east coast, THEA will offer five strings from Asia in loops that will see HMM vessels return to the trade after a three-year absence when it relied on the 2M for slots.

Five transatlantic loops without HMM

  • There is no return to the transatlantic for HMM after it pulled out of the market in May 2018 and was obliged to compensate 2M for the 700 slots a week it had purchased.
  • THE Alliance will continue to offer five loops on the transatlantic, without the participation of HMM.

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Source: The LoadStar

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