Maersk Line and MSC`s “new strategic operational cooperation” with Zim follows the ship-sharing agreement between Asia and the east coast of the United States, which began in September. Eli Glickman, President & CEO of ZIM, hailed the deal as a game-changer for the company and its customers. The choice of port is generally subject to negotiation and may differ from the election of a particular member. This is particularly controversial for carriers that own large container terminal property, as Vessel`s sharing partners often participate in different container terminals. While alliances have set up joint operational centres to allow for closer coordination, the exchange of good practices within these networks is not a norm and is mainly done on a bilateral basis. As a key element of the three companies` long-term strategy, the Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) covers all East-West traffic. These trades have been characterized by overcapacity and low growth, resulting in a situation in which airlines hardly lose the cost threshold and even lose money to provide the service. The 2M already has a strategic cooperation with HMM in exchanges between Asia and the west coast of the United States, but The Loadstar understands that slot exchanges have been rare since the deal was signed in December 2016, with one insider saying he believes the contract was “already torn apart.” Zim, the Israeli container ship operator and 2M Alliance, made up of Maersk Line and the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), have announced a new vessel sharing agreement, more obvious to Zim than the alliance. Maersk will contribute approximately 110 vessels with a capacity of 1.2 m TEU to the alliance, while 75 with a capacity of 0.9 m TEU will come from MSC.

Shipping alliances can help carriers offer low prices and broad service coverage through economies of scale and benefits of scale. The high structure of the fixed costs of shipping companies is one of the main arguments in favour of cooperation between shipping companies. Regular weekly service between different ports requires investments in a number of ships. They will sail regardless of their occupancy rate. Cooperation between airlines, for example through a vessel sharing agreement (VSA), can reduce this risk and increase the utilization rate. The most recent agreement is the second cooperation agreement announced by container shipping companies, following the ship`s capacity-sharing agreement between Asia and the east coast of North America, signed in July 2018. The provision came after shippers raised concerns with the CMF about loading containers aboard an HMM vessel, after more than 500,000 crates washed up on ships around the world following the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping in September 2016. Another form of cooperation between carriers is asset sharing. With Container xChange, we have developed a platform that connects container owners and users in a neutral market. The 2M alliance and Zim will extend their cooperation to services from Asia to the west coast of the United States and the Mediterranean, which the Israeli airline called a “game change agreement.” Eli Glickman, zim`s president and chief executive officer, said that under the new agreement with 2M, Zim will operate four ships and the three 2M vessels on the TP9/Maple loop in Seattle and Vancouver and take slots on the TP8/Orient rope in Prince Rupert and have access to slots on Maersk and MSC`s Asia-Mediterranean services. The size of the vessel has been significantly increased on mega-ships with more than 20,000 TEUs in order to achieve lower costs per container transported….