Wan Hai Lines Considered As Potential Replacement In THE Alliance Post Hapag-Lloyd’s Exit

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  • As Hapag-Lloyd exits THE Alliance to form the Gemini Cooperation with Maersk, Wan Hai Lines emerges as a potential candidate to fill the void.
  • With a fleet of 13,000 TEU ships and ambitions to expand services to Europe, Wan Hai could enhance THE Alliance’s competitiveness.
  • However, analysts express concerns about Wan Hai’s fleet size compared to Hapag-Lloyd, highlighting potential limitations in plugging the gap across all routes.

Hapag-Lloyd’s Departure and THE Alliance’s Challenge

Hapag-Lloyd’s decision to leave THE Alliance in January 2025 to join the Gemini Cooperation with Maersk poses a competitive challenge for THE Alliance. As the largest member of the alliance, Hapag-Lloyd’s departure leaves a significant gap in capacity, impacting competitiveness, especially against the Gemini Cooperation boasting 3.4 million TEU.

Wan Hai Lines as a Potential Replacement

Bronson Hsieh, former chairman of Yang Ming, suggests that Wan Hai Lines could be a suitable replacement for Hapag-Lloyd in THE Alliance. With a fleet comprising 13,000 TEU ships and ongoing deliveries, Wan Hai has the potential to strengthen THE Alliance’s position, especially if it renews its ambitions to launch services to Europe.

Wan Hai’s Fleet and Market Presence

Wan Hai, initially an intra-Asia carrier, expanded its services to the transpacific in 2020 and expressed openness to Asia-Europe routes. The company has taken delivery of a series of 18 13,000 TEU ships ordered during the pandemic. As the 11th-largest liner operator with over 592,000 TEU of capacity, Wan Hai holds promise as a strategic alliance partner.

THE Alliance Members’ Response and Analyst Concerns

THE Alliance members, including Yang Ming, ONE, and HMM, declined to comment on the potential inclusion of Wan Hai. Analysts, however, express reservations about Wan Hai’s fleet size compared to Hapag-Lloyd. Linerlytica analyst Tan Hua Joo notes that while Wan Hai could replace Hapag-Lloyd’s contributions on the transpacific, its fleet may be inadequate for the Asia-Europe and transatlantic routes, leaving THE Alliance smaller in capacity than its competitors.

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Source: The Loadstar

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