Although the new carrier alliances will only start operating from April 2017, battle lines on the main east-west routes are already being drawn, after the OCEAN Alliance and THE Alliance unveiled the respective service networks, according to Alphaliner.
The OCEAN Alliance will start with an initial deployment of 331 ships with an aggregate capacity of 3.3 million TEUs.
This figure is based on Alphaliner’s analysis of the 41 weekly services unveiled in early November by the four alliance members, comprising French shipping company CMA CGM (including APL), China’s COSCO Container Lines, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and Taiwanese Evergreen Line.
Alphaliner said that “the carrier group is set to become the largest alliance in container shipping history,” with an initial plan to offer 20 weekly sailings from Asia to North America and 11 weekly sailings from Asia to Europe. OCEAN will also jointly operate three transatlantic strings and seven Far East – Middle East/Red Sea loops.
The second new carrier group, THE Alliance, also released information of its new network plan under which it would offer 31 weekly services.
An estimated total of 244 ships with an aggregate capacity of 2.25 million TEUs will be deployed by the six THE Alliance members, made up of Hapag-Lloyd (with UASC), K Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Yang Ming.
They will jointly provide a total of 16 transpacific loops and eight Asia-Europe services, together with six transatlantic loops and one Far East-Middle East string.
The services were scaled down from an original plan that included the participation of Hanjin Shipping, which could have pushed overall capacity deployed by THE Alliance up by some 500,000 TEUs.