Hapag-Lloyd CEO: French ports will be among winners of Gemini cooperation


The French ports will be among the biggest winners of the Gemini Cooperation, as explained by the CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

© Hapag-Lloyd

The French ports will be among the biggest winners of the Gemini Cooperation, as explained by the CEO of German liner major Hapag-Lloyd, Rolf Habben Jansen.

“Normally we see that in all alliances whenever choices need to be made to omit ports, then France is typically the one that gets omitted, but now in Gemini, you will get weekly services at very competitive transit times,” Jansen said during a virtual live session this morning, while commenting on the inclusion of French ports in the Gemini‘s deep sea network.

Specifically, the duo plans to have weekly shuttles connecting Le Havre by dedicated shuttle via Rotterdam and the Port of Foss via a dedicated hub in Tangier.

In discussing the impact of the network on cargo operations within German ports, Jansen previously projected a potential surge of up to 20% in volume once the network expansion is completed. He emphasized that Wilhelmshaven and Bremerhaven are poised to reap the greatest benefits owing to heightened transshipment activities within Germany.

While acknowledging the possibility of a decline in volume for Hamburg, Jansen outlined expectations of partial compensation through increased transshipment by Maersk, forecasting an approximate 10% offset.

Container shipping majors Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk took the industry by surprise in January this year when they announced their operational cooperation deal, marking the former‘s withdrawal from the Alliance.

Gemini Cooperation aims to enhance schedule reliability and sustainability starting from February 2025, mainly focusing on several East-West trades. The new cooperation will comprise a fleet pool of around 290 vessels with a combined capacity of 3.4 million containers (TEU); Maersk will deploy 60% and Hapag-Lloyd 40%.

The network will comprise 26 mainline services, complemented by a global network of 32 dedicated shuttles centered around 10 owned and/or controlled transshipment hubs as well as Singapore and Cartagena.

As a part of the agreement, the two companies have set the ambitious target of delivering schedule reliability of above 90% once the network is fully phased in. The aim is to improve service quality, bolster transit times in many major port-to-port corridors, and access to some of the world’s best-connected ocean hubs.

Unlike its partner, Hapag-Lloyd doesn’t plan to acquire freight forwarders and wants to remain a pure-play-plus liner and terminal infrastructure player.

“We don‘t see a lot of synergies between freight forwarders and carriers and as a consequence, we don‘t believe we would be the best owner of a freight forwarder that is why we don’t plan to invest in one,” Jansen said.

Hapag-Lloyd‘s CEO doesn’t expect the situation in the Red Sea to normalize in the upcoming couple of months.

However, as explained, the rerouting of ships via the Cape of Good Hope has resulted in the absorption of additional vessel capacity (5-10 pct) in the market.

“In reality, we need more ships and we have to sail faster,” he pointed out.

Commenting on the company‘s investment strategy, Jansen said that Hapag would continue to invest in terminals and the inland side of the business.

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