New Shipping Alliances & Potential Rate Increases

ON 1 April, the shipping industry’s four major alliances became three - 2M, THE alliance and the Ocean Alliance. Although it is still early, it is anticipated that the new alliances will cause rate increases across the major trade lines as well as the changes to service networks.

Carrier alliances are vessel sharing agreements: all carriers within an alliance pool together fleets of ships, moving containers on one another’s’ behalf to extend their service offering and geographic coverage. Similar to airline alliances which cooperate to move passengers, these alliances cooperate to move freight. The alliances are pragmatic arrangements that are likely to change every few years.

2M – Maesrk and MSC.

THE Alliance – Hapag-Lloyd, K Line, MOL, NYK and Yang Ming.

Ocean Alliance – CMA CGM, OOCL, Evergreen and Cosco China Shipping.

Container lines are intent on preserving rate levels and it is speculated that rates will continue to rise. Seabridge is working closely with all our partners to minimise costs for our clients. We recommend that shippers continue to plan, order and book early. This will enable greater flexibility, possibly reducing costs.

With regards to the Asia-Australia East Coast routes, Ocean Alliance has thirteen services, THE Alliance eleven and 2M only five.

Only a handful of container lines remain outside the alliance structure – Wan Hai, Pacific International Lines, ZIM, and, to a lesser extent, HMM, as well as the new carrier SM Line. Most of these are expected to continue to operate as niche carriers with most of their business focused on specific regional trade corridors. 

Our import and export specialists are familiar with all upgraded services, changes to transit times and routes. We are committed to providing the highest level of customer service possible, offering complete transparency and developing the optimum solutions for our clients. Your account representative will work tirelessly to ensure freight arrives on time, if you have any concerns about the recent rate increases or service changes please give Seabridge a call on 1800 727 195.

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