In just under one week, the ocean freight industry will undergo a transformation in the form of shipping alliances.
Come April 1st, THE Alliance, Ocean Alliance, and 2M will set sail with new members. The new formation will look starkly different from the previous alliance groupings.

2M Alliance: Maersk and MSC
Ocean Three Alliance: CMA CGM, UASC, China Shipping
G6 Alliance: NYK Line, OOCL, APL, MOL, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM
CKYHE Alliance: K Line, COSCO, Hanjin Shipping, Evergreen, Yang Ming

2M Alliance: Maersk, MSC
THE Alliance: NYK, MOL, K Line, Yang Ming, Hapag-Lloyd (with UASC)
Ocean Alliance: CMA CGM, Evergreen, OOCL, COSCO Shipping

These three alliances represent 77.2% of global container capacity and a whopping 96% of all East-West trades. Ocean Alliance offers the most services, with some 40 loops. THE Alliance follows with 32 services and 2M with 25. Among the changes, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance will run 11 weekly Asia-northern Europe routes. 2M has also increased its services on this route from five to six.
More recently, Hapag-Lloyd and UASC postponed their final merger date as a result of unexpected delays. The merger will now take place at the end of May as opposed to the end of March, which would have been in time for the new alliances reshuffle. However, this is unexpected to affect the start date of THE Alliance. It will set sail on April 1st, 2017 as planned.

Effect on ports
The alliance reshuffle will no doubt have an impact on ports. The port of Singapore is set to benefit the most but at the expense of other Asian ports. Of the 29 Asia-Europe services provided by all three groupings, the port of Singapore will attract 34 weekly calls. That’s up from the current 29 calls from 27 services. This is thanks to CMA CGM’s acquisition of APL, which prompted the French carrier to embark on a joint venture with PSA-Singapore for operating its CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal.

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