Maersk Line and MSC have entered into a long-term strategic cooperation deal with Israeli shipping company ZIM on the Asia–US East Coast trade.
Currently Maersk Line and MSC operate five loops and ZIM operates two loops in the trade. As of early September – and subject to regulatory approvals the 2M Alliance partners will contribute four loops and ZIM one, and the parties will swap slots on all five loops,
“We will improve our combined product portfolio between Asia and the US East Coast and deliver on our promise to customers while creating the needed operational efficiencies for us to run a sustainable business on the trade also in the future,” Søren Toft, Maersk’s COO was quoted.
ZIM Line stated that the new alliance will create a major upgrade of its Pacific services, with improved port coverage and transit time.
Eli Glickman, President and CEO, said: “We are pleased to enter into this strategic operational cooperation with the 2M Alliance. The agreement will significantly improve our services on this important trade, where we remain a major player as part of our strategy.
"It is a vote of confidence by the two largest players in the industry, acknowledging ZIM’s capabilities, reliability and strength. Furthermore, it will enable ZIM to achieve operational efficiencies and ensure our ability to maintain a leading position on the trade."
When it comes to schedule reliability ZIM has been a standout performer in Asia - USEC services. Earlier this month ZIM topped the reliability rankings produced by Seaintel in its Global Liner Performance Report for June 2018, ahead of 18 other lines reviewed. At the time Glickman noted "ZIM’s performance on this trade has been consistently one of the best in the industry, with reliability levels above the industry average". The carrier now has the challenge of delivering that level of service in a vessel sharing arrangement.
The term of the cooperation is seven years. The parties expect to disclose more information about network changes and schedules on the trade as soon as possible. Two years ago ZIM and 2M were widely reported to be discussing cooperation on a global basis.