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HAMBURG: March 09, 2017. On April 01 'THE Alliance' of Hapag- Lloyd, 'K'Line, MOL, NYK and Yang Ming, will launch 32 liner services to 75 major ports on trade lanes connecting Asia with the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, Europe, North and Central America and the Caribbean.

And reminded of the sudden demise of Hanjin Shipping last August, they have established a contingency plan in the event one of them suffers a similar fate.

NYK Blue JayThe five container lines have set up an independent trustee to manage funds in case one or more of the members become insolvent.

The trust fund will insure shipper's cargo will be carried to its destination port if one of the carriers suddenly ceases trading. "Customers' reaction to the incident last summer showed a clear demand for such a safety net and the partners of THE Alliance are proud to present the first contingency plan of its kind in liner shipping," said Hapag-Lloyd in a statement.

In a related move, the group has announced all its mainline UK calls will be handled by DP World at Southampton and London Gateway – prompting the port operator to open a third berth for full operations at the end of March.

DP World said its terminal at Southampton will be the only port to handle vessels operated by 'THE Alliance', 'Ocean Alliance' and '2M' alliance – the three major container shipping line consortia.

Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented: "DP World is the only operator in the UK to provide two deep-water facilities. Both terminals can provide operational back up to each other and reduce the risk of delays to the supply chain - no other operator in the UK can do this."

MOL is expected to deploy its 21,000 TEU vessels later this year which will see DP World UK handle the largest container ships in the world.

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