The world’s two largest container shipping carriers, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) announced today they have agreed to terminate an eight-year-old vessel sharing alliance in January 2025, citing the need to pursue “individual strategies” to meet future goals.
The two shipping lines had established the 2M alliance as a means of coping competitively with weak demand and of managing more capacity after purchasing new mega-vessels with capacities exceeding 20,000 TEUs. Each company controls global market share of about 17%.
MSC CEO Soren Toft said: “The 2M alliance played a key role in supporting the container shipping industry over the past eight years. At MSC today, we continue to strengthen and modernize our fleet, providing us with the scale we need for the most comprehensive ocean and short-sea shipping network in the market. We remain focused on delivering high-quality, personal service to a wide range of clients, as we continue to develop cargo-carrying solutions on the oceans and beyond.”
2M was introduced in 2015 at a time when the ocean carrier industry needed an injection of stability. MSC is grateful for the operational cooperation with Maersk over the past eight years and expects the concept of ocean liner vessel-sharing to remain relevant and beneficial to carriers and their customers.
As liner industry leaders, with the largest fleet, order book and network coverage, MSC will continue to respond to client demand from across the market through a growing portfolio of shipping, inland, logistics and digital solutions, as well as its emerging air cargo offering.
Maersk executives stressed that a present different strategy focusses on an individual approach to integrating ocean container shipping operations with land-based logistics.
(Maersk and MSC vessel photos)