The world of logistics never sleeps. There is constant change on the market that we actively monitor to adapt and provide the best to our clients. In this article we look at some of the big changes in shipping in the past year, which was marked by an unprecedented consolidation drive in container shipping. It was mostly a result of low freight rates and oversupply.
As a result, the number of big container lines, with a capacity of over 200,000 teu has dropped from 20 to 17. The reason for the drop of the number of big container lines is the bankruptcy of Hanjin, CMA CGM acquiring APL and the integration of CSCL and Cosco.
The market is still quite fragmented so further movements would be no surprise. That is also why the prognosis for next year shows that the number could decrease even further.
Maersk recently published the news, that it will take over Hamburg Sud, which is the company’s first full takeover in more than 10 years. This will increase Maersk’s global trade, especially in Latin America, where Hamburg Sud had a strong presence. Maersk’s container capacity will rise to around 3.8 million TEU, boosting its market share to 18.6 percent from 15.7 percent.
Another development is the merger of Hapag-Lloyd and UASC, which was signed in July, which will form the world’s fifth-largest line soon. It will have a capacity of 1.6 million TEUs and a global market share of around 7 percent.
Japan’s three big shipping groups K Line, MOL and NYK have also announced an integration of their container shipping business, which will start during 2017.
There are also rumours circling that the Hong Kong-headquartered OOCL and its parent company Orient Overseas International LTD (OOIL) could be the next one to get sold or merged, should their main shareholders decide so. The two most likely buyers are CMA CGM and China Cosco, with CMA CGM being in a better position. The acquisition could represent the final piece for CMA CGM, after they acquiered Singapore’s NOL last year, which has given it market leadership on trans-Pacific routes.
Lately shipping lines are also joining forces in so called alliances. These have the purpose to ensure frequent sailings, raise reliability and offer very attractive transit times for all shippers. The current big alliances are:
THE Alliance – formed by Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming and the Japanese trio of K Line, MOL and NYK, with UASC joining them, when the merger with Hapag-Lloyd is complete.
Ocean Alliance – consists of China Cosco Shipping, Evergreen Line, CMA CGM and OOCL.
At 45HC.com we work with all the biggest shippers to offer you the lowest rates, the highest quality, and shortest possible time frame. We’re always on top of news so follow us for regular updates from the world of logistics.