China’s shipping giants COSCO Container Lines (COSCON) and CSCL signed a series of leasing contracts of container ships and containers on March 1st, marking the official integration of the two companies in the sector.
Under the new deals, from March 1st, COSCON will officially enter the integration transitional period, in which it will lease/operate CSCL container ships and containers, and gradually integrate CSCL network assets based on the progress of the integration.
The duo’s container shipping business will be operated under the name China Lines, local media said.
“Existing channels will be used for customer services during the transition. We commit to transit smoothly and will maintain best service quality and business continuity as much as possible. Any changes and updates will be communicated upfront,” the company said, adding that post-integration will see the companies boost larger capacity.
China Lines should be fully operational by July this year.
The new shipping corporation created from the merger of COSCO and CSCL, Coscocs, said earlier that it plans to up the ante by reaching a 2 million TEUs operational capacity mark by the end of 2018. Nevertheless, this is not expected to include new orders but is related to existing orders comprising 30 ultra-large containerships totaling in 515,500 TEU.
As such Coscocs will range 3rd by the number of ULCS operating and on order, after MSC (84) and Maersk Line (79), but well ahead of CMA CGM (50).
What is more, Coscocs confirmed plans to change its alliances, as it is said to be looking into teaming up with Iran’s IRISL. The new mega alliance entering the scene would also include CMA CGM, Evergreen and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL).
The new structure is likely to be formed once the Ocean Three and CKYHE deals expire in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Coscocs was officially launched in Shanghai on 18 February, becoming the world’s largest dry bulk and tanker owner and fourth on global scale with respect to its container fleet.
World Maritime News Staff