CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Line and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on April 20 to form a new Alliance enabling each of them to offer competitive products and comprehensive service networks covering the Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Asia-Red Sea, Asia-Middle East, Trans-Pacific, Asia-North America East Coast, and Trans-Atlantic trades.
This is a milestone agreement among four of the world’s leading container shipping lines. Each line will offer best-in-class services to customers with fast transit times, competitive sailing frequencies, and the most extensive port coverage in the market.
“This new partnership will allow each of its members to bring significantly improved services to its respective customers,” member carriers said in a statement. “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. The Alliance will also bring service reliability and the most efficient integration of the latest vessels in a fleet of over 350 containerships.”
Initially the deployment will cover more than 40 services globally mostly connected with Asia, including about 20 services each in the U.S. and Europe related trades. Subject to regulatory approvals of competent authorities, the new Alliance plans to begin operations in April 2017. The initial period of the Alliance shall be five years
Upon signing the MOU, Andy Tung, CEO of Orient Overseas Container Line remarked: “The extensive network and port coverage of the new alliance will offer our customers a wide range of choices and highly competitive services for their supply chains. The new alliance will also be a platform for our ongoing growth as well as improve our cost and efficiency”.
Further details about OCEAN Alliance and the transition plans from the four member lines in their current alliances will be communicated to stakeholders and the market in due course.