Israel’s shipping company Zim Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM) will operate as an independent carrier on the Transpacific route, eschewing the vessel sharing arrangement that it currently has with the G6 partners, according to Alphaliner.
To be implemented concurrently to the alliance reshuffle in April, the East – West program which ZIM announced for 2017 will feature a new Far East – Pacific Northwest service.
Additionally, the revised network will see the enhancement of ZIM’s Far East – US East Coast services, with an upgraded all-water ZCP loop via Panama and the re-launch of ZIM’s Suez-routed Seven Star Z7S.
“The transpacific trade is shaping up to be the new battle ground for carriers. HMM, Korea Line and Zim are all eager to capture a share of the Far East – North America market, which is set to be dominated by the three carrier alliances – 2M, OCEAN Alliance and THE Alliance,” Alphaliner said.
Another two independent carriers, PIL and Wan Hai, have yet to announce their 2017 service plans, while Matson and Westwood Shipping are expected to retain their current transpacific niche services.
Carriers operating outside of the three main alliances “should have a collective market share of about 13%, posing a significant threat to the larger carriers,” Alphaliner said, adding that keen competition could foil the carriers’ bids to raise freight rates for the new transpacific annual contract season that starts from May 2017.