The Alliance’s members have created a bankruptcy contingency plan following the demise of Hanjin Shipping and the chaos it brought to the global shipping industry.
The five member lines, comprising Hapag-Lloyd, ‘K’ Line, Mitsui O. S. K. Lines (MOL), NYK Line and Yang Ming, will establish an independent trustee to manage funds to be used if an insolvency occurs within the group.
According to a statement from the carriers, “it is envisioned that the fund will be used to continue alliance operations in the event of insolvency of one or more member lines”.
“The independent trust fund shall safeguard that customers’ cargo on board of the affected members’ ships will be carried to the port of destination,” it further noted.
The shipping lines’ statement also pointed out that “customers’ reaction to the incident last summer showed a clear demand for such a safety net.”
In reaction to the news, Maersk Line’s senior press officer Michael Storgaard tweeted: “Confused. Lines have to put away funds to safeguard the customers’ cargo. But customers do not want to pay sustainable rates.”
The announcement came along with the belated release of THE Alliance’s forthcoming service offering, beginning on April 1, 2017.
THE Alliance is the last of the three global shipping alliances to provide complete details regarding its new network and some industry observers have speculated that the short notice could lead to delays within the supply chain.
The five members will be deploying more than 240 ships on 32 services connecting over 72 ports throughout Asia, North Europe, the Mediterranean, North America, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East with a range of direct port-port-connections.
A statement from members noted that “best ship for the loop principle” had been used in devising the schedule as well as a dedicated shuttle service design.