Zim, the Israeli container ship operator and 2M Alliance, which consists of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), have announced a new ship-sharing agreement that is more obviously important to Zim than the Alliance. The 2M has already had strategic cooperation with the ASIA-U.S. West Coast, but The Loadstar understands that since signing the agreement in December 2016 Slot exchange has been rare, with an insider said he thought the contract had been “already torn.” Maersk and MSC entered into the initial agreement in January 2015 and 193 vessels on 22 joint lines, so that the two shipping companies can offer their customers large product options for much lower operating costs. “Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) will join the Alliance when its slots lease with 2M expires next April,” said Loadstar. The provision came after shippers told the CMF of concerns that containers had been loaded onto an HMM ship after Hanjin Shipping went bankrupt in September 2016, more than 500,000 cases were stranded on ships around the world. Maersk Line and MSC`s “new strategic operational cooperation” with Zim follows the U.S. East Coast Ship Sharing Agreement, which began in September. In order to obtain the agreement reached with the South Korean airline by the U.S. Federal Commission (FMC), Maersk and MSC had to agree that 2M cargo would only be loaded onto HMM vessels “with the explicit consent of customers.” Maersk will bring about 110 ships with 1.2 million teu in the capacity of the alliance, while 75 will come with a capacity of 0.9 million MSC TEUs.
“We are very proud to work with the two largest players in the sector and to develop our cooperation with the 2M Alliance. The new strategic agreement means faster and more efficient service, with better geographic coverage and extensive direct calls for our customers, in line with our vision to provide quality service. We will greatly increase our ability to offer the best of both worlds: high-level online coverage combined with our outstanding customer service and personal rating.