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, the shipping alliance between Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Line.
The agreement is scheduled to begin April 1. It covers the Asia-North Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Trans Atlantic and Trans Pacific trades.
“Accommodating these additional volumes enables improved utilization in our fleet and in turn provides opportunities to enhance our customer offering on select trades in our East-West network,” said Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer, Maersk Line.
Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd are party to a number of such operational agreements worldwide.
The agreement is not related to Maersk Line’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd announced in December 2016 and expected to be completed late 2017.
Hamburg Süd is the world’s seventh largest container shipping line and a leader in the North–South trades. The company operates 130 container vessels with a container capacity of 625,000 TEU.
With the acquisition, Maersk Line will have container capacity of around 3.8 million TEU and an 18.6 percent global capacity share. The combined fleet will consist of 741 container vessels with an average age of 8.7 years.
Drewry said last month that it expected contract rates to rise by between 12 and 14 percent on the main east-west trades, and analyst Jefferies has predicted a substantial recovery for Maersk’s container division for this year.