Three major carriers have announced that they will swap slots on five loops between Asia and the US East Coast.
Currently, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) operate five loops on the trade and Zim operates two. From September 2018, Maersk and MSC will contribute four of their loops and Zim will contribute one. The parties will swap slots on all these five loops.
The carriers claim this will generate cost efficiencies for them and provide new opportunities for customers to access an improved product on the Asia – US East Coast trade. Maersk Line said these benefits would include a new direct product from the US East Coast into Thailand.
Eli Glickman, President and CEO of Zim, said: “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.”
Maersk Line’s chief operating officer, Søren Toft, said in a statement: “We are pleased to enter into this strategic cooperation with Zim.
“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.”
The arrangement is subject to regulatory approval but, if approved, will run initially for four years with an option to extend it to seven years in total. The parties expect to disclose more information about network changes and schedules on the trade as soon as possible.