2M Alliance Getting Ready To Go Separate Ways
According to a report in The Loadstar, 2M Alliance members – Maersk and MSC – have now started to deploy their vessels independently on some service loops.
The report suggests that Maersk are now listed as the sole vessel provider for the Asia-Europe AE5/Albatross, AE10/Silk and AE7/Condor loops, and MSC are now listed as the operator of the AE55/Griffin and AE6/Lion services, along with the Swan loop.
The world’s two largest carriers are currently set to split from their vessel sharing arrangements in 2025. However, they seem to have started a gradual move to leave one ship operator per loop, which has led to speculation that they may be looking to end their working relationship earlier than originally expected.
Both carriers have made clear their intentions to operate individually using just their own networks when 2M disbands, and it seems unlikely they will be relying on partnering with other alliances.
The split could also have been accelerated by the European Commission’s recent announcement to not renew the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER) when the current legislation expires in April 2024. CBER is the regulation that enables carriers to operate in the EU within alliances, and was introduced in 2009.
A carrier shake up of some kind would not be unexpected during the near future, regardless of whether the 2M carriers part ways early. We continue to see new ULCVs (Ultra Large Container Vessels) entering the market despite ongoing low demand and unless their is an uptick in the global economy, it is perhaps likely that something will have to give.