14-05-2016

Hapag-Lloyd, Asian giants in alliance amid shipping slump

HL

Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd Friday announced a major shipping alliance with five Asian giants, as the troubled industry seeks economies of scale at a time of a major capacity glut.

The Hamburg-based group said it was linking up with South Korea’s Hanjin, Taiwan’s Yang Ming and Japan’s “K” Line, Mitsui O.S.K Lines and Nippon Yusen Kaisha, to form a group with an 18% share of the global container fleet capacity.

The tie-up, to be called THE Alliance, makes up a fleet of more than 620 ships and will begin operation in 2017 with an initial period of cooperation for five years.

It will offer a service that is much like code-sharing for airlines, and covers “all East-West trade lanes”.

“This agreement is a milestone and will enable the six partners of THE Alliance to offer sailing frequencies and direct coverage in the market,” the group said in a statement, adding that it would be able to ensure “frequent sailings, high reliability and very attractive transit times for all shippers in the East-West trade lanes”.

The shipping industry has been struggling with overcapacity owing to a slump in international demand as well as sharp declines in crude and commodity prices.

Source: AFP

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