Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Container Shipping Lines Announce Further Freight Slot Agreement

Box Companies Seek Continuing Viability
Shipping News Feature
DENMARK – GERMANY – WORLDWIDE – Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd have announced a slot purchase agreement for Hamburg Süd’s volumes on the East–West trades to be shipped on vessels in the 2M network, between Maersk and the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). The agreement comes as Hamburg Süd is expected to end its current slot purchase arrangements on the East–West trades at the end of March, as the recent and major changes in the global container shipping market sees box freight lines worldwide agreeing to mergers and collaborations in an attempt to stay viable in a volatile time. Frank Smet, Member of the Executive Board of Hamburg Süd, said:

“Hamburg Süd is very satisfied about the agreement with Maersk. Our customers will benefit from extended port coverage, best transit times, and an increased number of loops in the East–West trades.”

Hamburg Süd was the only one of the ‘large’ box freight lines, within the top 10 of the largest container shipping lines in terms of capacity, not to enter into one of the new container alliances, either the THE Alliance or the Ocean Alliance, as they fight for the greater market share. Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer, Maersk Line, commented:

“We are pleased with this agreement. Accommodating these additional volumes enables improved utilisation in our fleet and in turn provides opportunities to enhance our customer offering on select trades in our East–West network.”

In detail, Hamburg Süd will be able to offer its customers the following product portfolio and service frequencies:

  • Asia – North Europe: 5 sailings per week
  • Asia – Western Mediterranean: 2 sailings per week
  • Asia – US West Coast: 4 sailings per week
  • Asia – US East Coast: 3 sailings per week
  • Transatlantic: 2 sailings per week

Additional details, including port rotations, transit times, and terminal details, will be made available in due course. The agreement is scheduled to begin April 1, subject to maritime filing requirements being satisfied, and is said to be not related to the announcement of Maersk Line’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd.