SHANGHAI, APRIL 20, 2016. CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Line and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) are to form an “Ocean Alliance” covering liner trades between Asia and Europe, the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Middle East, Trans-Pacific, North America East Coast, and Transatlantic.
Vice-Chairman of CMA CGM Rodolphe Saadé said the new alliance “is a very ambitious operational agreement”. Subject to regulatory approvals the four carriers expect to begin services in April 2017 for an initial five-year period with 350 containerships on 40 maritime loops worldwide.
A statement from the four added: “This new partnership will allow each of its members to bring significantly improved services to its respective customers. Shippers will have an attractive selection of frequent departures and direct calls to meet their supply chain needs, including access to a vast network with the largest number of sailings and port rotations connecting markets in Asia, Europe and the United States.”
Meanwhile the G6 Alliance, of which OOCL is currently a member, says the opening of the enhanced Panama Canal in June has prompted the upgrade to existing Asia/U.S. services and the introduction of a new rotation linking Central and North China/Korea to the U.S. East Coast from Qingdao via Shanghai and Busan to New York, Norfolk and Savannah.
Current G6 members are: APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and OOCL. But with talks continuing between Hapag-Lloyd and UASC about a merger of their container interests, a replacement for OOCL could easily follow.