Ocean Carrier Consolidation: The 3 Ocean Carrier Shipping Alliances

These 3 carrier alliances represent nearly 80% of global container trade and roughly 90% of container capacity on major trade routes. The main trade lane that is highly affected by this change and the main reason for the new alliances is the North America-Asia: trade lane between the Far East and North America which will represent 96% of East-West trade. 

Trade Routes

The Trans-Pacific trade route is the largest trade route in the world by volume. It is the route between the Far East and North America, mainly dominated by containers hitting US West Coast ports.

The Asia-Europe is the trade route between Asia and Europe (most going to Western Europe) with most vessels going through the Suez Canal.

The Trans-Atlantic trade route is the route between Europe and North America, mainly between Europe and the US East Coast.

Ocean Carrier Alliances

Ocean Alliance CMA CGM, COSCO, OOCL, APL and Evergreen (APL is now owned by CMA CGM)

The Alliance: NYK Group, MOL, “K” Line, Hapag Lloyd, UASC and Yang Ming (UASC has merged with Hapag Lloyd)

2M Alliance: Maersk Line and MSC, with HMM and Hamburg Sud (Hamburg Sud is now owned by Maersk Line).  HMM is not officially in the alliance, but they have slot purchases and exchanges with MSC as well as Maersk.

Weekly Sailings Per Carrier Alliance

“Ocean Alliance” will have 13 weekly services between Asia and the US West Coast, 7 weekly services between Asia and US East Coast and 3 Trans-Atlantic services.

“The Alliance” will have 16 weekly services for the Trans-Pacific trade and 7 weekly services for the Trans-Atlantic trade.

“2M” Alliance, which has a slot agreement with Hyundai Merchant Marine, will have 16 weekly services.  

Non-Alliance Carriers

ZIM Integrated Shipping, Hamburg Sud, Pacific International Lines, Wan Hai Lines, and Matson who also operate on the Asia-North America trade lane will also be options to shippers and NVOCCs to sign contracts. These carriers’ routing are more susceptible to change since they have more agility to move around their vessel rotations and capacities but since they are independent, they can also have less issues with sharing space on their vessels compared to carriers that are in shipping alliances.