Global ocean line operators Hapag-Lloyd and Compania Sud Americana de Vapores (CSAV) are holding possible merger talks, while Zim Integrated Shipping Services and the G6 Alliance are in discussion to cooperate in the Asia-Pacific North West Coast trade.
Hapag-Lloyd said it is looking to merge with Chile-based CSAV, but the German carrier added that they have yet to sign any agreement.
“Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV are currently maintaining discussions if a possible business combination or any other form of association would be of mutual interest,” it said in a statement. “To date, these discussions have not resulted in any binding or non-binding agreement between the parties.”
Hapag-Lloyd said it would announce any new developments.
Meanwhile, Zim and the G6 Alliance are exploring the expansion of their current cooperation in the Asia-U.S. East Coast trade to include the Asia-Pacific North West Coast (PNW) trade.
The G6 Alliance is comprised of APL, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Hapag-Lloyd, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and Orient Overseas Container Line.
“The new structure is planned to commence from the second quarter of 2014,” Zim said in an official statement.
“Joint ventures are part of Zim’s ongoing strategy,” said Rafael Ben-Ari, group vice president of shipping. “We are partners on the PNW with the Grand Alliance since 2009 and discuss to continue moving forward.”
The Zim-G6 cooperative agreement will still be subject to approval by the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission, it added.
The latest collaborative explorations are coming in the wake of a plan by the world’s top three container carriers Maersk Line, CMA CGM, and Mediterranean Shipping Co. to form the P3 alliance, as well as the G6 Alliance’s announcement of its intention to expand its trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic networks.
All these alliances and cooperations are being formed to lower costs and to remove excess capacity that has put downward pressure on freight rates and caused huge losses for many box carriers.