2M partners, Danish carrier Maersk Line and its Swiss-based counterpart Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), have entered into a strategic cooperation deal with Israeli shipping company ZIM on the Asia – US East Coast trade.
Currently Maersk Line and MSC operate 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.
Under the deal, the parties intend to swap slots on all five loops of the new cooperation.
Danish ocean carrier said the cooperation would bring cost efficiencies and pave way for an improved product on the Asia – USEC trade, including a new direct product from the US East Coast into Thailand.
“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 new arrangements will help ensure a high level of service for shippers on all routes between Asia and the U.S. East Coast,” said Diego Aponte, President & CEO, MSC Group.
MSC expects that the new arrangements will result in economies of scale and efficiencies, helping the carriers to navigate tough prevailing business conditions.
“Better management of capacity and demand also cuts fuel consumption and supports MSC’s efforts to ensure cargo shipping remains a sustainable business with minimal impact on the environment,” MSC added.
Back in May, the 2M partners introduced an emergency bunker surcharge as a way of coping with the rising bunker prices that started to spiral out of control.
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.