Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and ZIM announced a new strategic cooperation on the Asia – US East Coast trade.
Currently Maersk Line and MSC operates five loops and ZIM operates two loops on the trade. As of early September 2018, Maersk and MSC will contribute four of their operated loops to a combined operation of five loops with ZIM between Asia end the US East Coast. ZIM will operate one loop. The parties will swap slots on all five loops of the new cooperation.
For Maersk Line, the cooperation will generate cost efficiencies and provide new opportunities for customers who get access to an improved product on the Asia – USEC trade, including a new direct product from the US East Coast into Thailand.
“We are pleased to enter into this strategic cooperation with ZIM. We will improve our combined product portfolio between Asia and the US East Coast and deliver on our promise to customers while creating the needed operational efficiencies for us to run a sustainable business on the trade also in the future,” says Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer, Maersk Line.
The cooperation is scheduled to begin in early September 2018, subject to regulatory approval. The initial term of the cooperation is four years with an option to extend it to seven years in total. The parties expect to disclose more information about network changes and schedules on the trade soonest possible.
According to MSC, the new arrangements will improve its products across these regions and unveil new opportunities for shippers. Southeast Asian exporters will benefit from a new direct service between Laem Chabang port, Thailand, and USEC ports as far as New York. The revised network will include calls at Colombo to facilitate shipping opportunities for cargo from nearby India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Eli Glickman, President and CEO of ZIM, said: “We are pleased to enter into this strategic operational cooperation with the 2M Alliance. The agreement will significantly improve our services on this important trade, where we remain a major player as part of our strategy. It is a vote of confidence by the two largest players in the industry, acknowledging ZIM’s capabilities, reliability and strength. Furthermore, it will enable ZIM to achieve operational efficiencies and ensure our ability to maintain a leading position on the trade.
“We will continue to be independent, building on our personal links with our customers, for which we are so well known in addition to our ongoing technological initiatives such as our successful blockchain project.
“We will continue to service all trades in our current network – with even better service links and transit times. Our customers will continue to benefit from ZIM’s exceptional level of service, now with an improved product.”