The 2M alliance of Maersk Line and MSC is upgrading its existing network by April as it prepares to carry the volumes of Hyundai Merchant Marine and Hamburg Sud under their newly signed slot purchase pacts.
The scale of the network is considerably larger today as a result of the new slot arrangements, said MSC in a statement released February 13.
The Swiss container carrier added that the revision “follows an unprecedented year in the liner industry, which saw considerable change to the composition of alliances and commercial structures, including significant mergers and acquisitions.”
The modification will see 2M maintaining “the most efficient network, with strong reliability and stability of service, together with an increased frequency of sailings,” it added.
To accommodate the incoming volumes from the two non-2M carriers, Maersk said in a statement that two new services will be introduced in the 2M network.
The Danish shipping firm said the new AE7 service will operate on the Asia-North Europe trade while the TP16 is to be launched on the trans-Pacific trade.
South Korean carrier Hyundai Merchant and Germany-based Hamburg Sud will move cargo but not operate vessels in the 2M network, said Maersk.
Maersk said the AE7 will significantly improve its product from East China into Rotterdam in The Netherlands and Hamburg in Germany. For instance, the transit time from Shanghai to Rotterdam and Hamburg will improve by three days, respectively.
In the trans-Pacific, the TP16 will provide new opportunities in the Asia-U.S. South Atlantic trade. The transit time from South China to the U.S. South Atlantic will improve by eight days, which will be the fastest in the market.
In addition, Maersk Line will merge the TP8 and TP3 services between Asia and the U.S. West Coast into one service, the TP8.
The changes are effective April 1, 2017, said Maersk.
“With these exciting product improvements we confirm our commitment to provide extensive direct coverage and best in class transit times to our customers in the Asia-Europe and Transpacific trades,” said Silvia Ding, head of trade at Maersk Line.
“Our new slot agreements require that we increase our capacity. With these service improvements we are adding the necessary capacity to match the increase in volumes. Our aim is and continues to be to manage our capacity efficiently and maintain the stability and continuity of our network.”
Caroline Becquart, senior vice president and head of VSAs for MSC, said: “We are delighted to unveil our new network today, which will bring continued assurance to our customers trading between Asia, Europe and the United States. Following a time of such change and transition in the industry, we recognise that stability and continuity is of paramount importance to our customers.”
Photo: Alf van Beem