We’re inching closer and closer to April 1st, when three of the four current shipping alliances are set to break and two new bigger alliances, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance, will launch. While major players in the Ocean Alliance, like CMA CGM and APL, have long since released dedicated information about new routes and ports called on their websites, the members of THE Alliance have been surprisingly slow at revealing any details about the services they’ll be operating in just a couple of weeks’ time.
As Drewry reported three weeks ago, the uncertainty behind referring to many ports simply as regional hubs can cause headaches for terminal operators around the world. This is, of course, intentional, as the negotiations for global hubs are conducted between liners and terminal operators. These negotiations are slowly concluding and MOL has since released more information about THE Alliance’s services, while Hapag-Lloyd has updated its PDFs to corroborate at least some of those details.
MOL’s website helped to clear up some assumptions about ports called:
- “South East Asia Hub” is now Singapore on all services;
- “West Med Hub” is now Tanger Med on all services;
- “East Med Hub” is now Piraeus or Damietta;
- “Arabian Gulf Hub” is now Jebel Ali on all services;
- “Pacific North-West (US)” is now Tacoma on all services;
- “Pacific North-West (CA)” is now Vancouver on all services;
- “Pacific South-West (US)” is now any combination of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland;
- “Caribbean Hub” is now Manzanillo Colon, Cartagena, or Caucedo;
- “South Atlantic (US)” is now any combination of Wilmington, Savannah, Jacksonville, and Charleston;
- “South China/Hong Kong” is now any combination of Hong Kong, Yantian, Shekou, and Da Chan Bay;
- “UK” is now either London Gateway or Southampton.
However, finer details are still missing, like what terminal will be used at most ports. DP World has been announced as operating THE Alliance’s UK calls; all services calling in Great Britain will be on the south end of the island, despite Peel Ports’ earlier plea to entice more importers and exporters to use northern routes in Liverpool. There is also no new information as to which vessels will be deployed on each individual service.
Perhaps this lack of details shouldn’t be surprising; after all, in February Yang Ming announced it was suspending its EDI scheduling service until “[the] new service structure is finalized”. There is also very little to be found on the websites of most of the alliance partners: Yang Ming only lists the upcoming services under its point-to-point search, while NYK has no relevant news and makes no mention of the services in its network or when searching point-to-point. K Line has also not updated its long-term schedules.
At the latest, we’ll see how things fall into place in 18 days’ time when the alliance officially launches its new services. Until then, the shipping world will have to keep its eyes peeled for any updates about this major undertaking.
In the meantime, we’ve taken the hassle out of cross-referencing each individual liner’s website to try and collect information about upcoming services. We’ve updated all THE Alliance services in the eeSea database with as many details as are available. You can find them in the Services module by searching for THEA and checking Future proforma version once the results appear.
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