Container shipping giants Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Maersk have decided to terminate their current 2M alliance in January 2025.

Launched in 2015, 2M is a container shipping line vessel-sharing agreement (VSA) focused on maintaining competitive and cost-efficient operations on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trade routes.

With a two-year notice period of termination, the 2M agreement had a minimum term of ten years.

According to Maersk, the decision will not have an immediate impact on the services delivered to customers using the 2M trades.

Each firm’s customer teams will communicate with their respective clients to provide support during and beyond the phase-out of the 2M alliance.

In a joint statement, AP Moller-Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc and MSC CEO Soren Toft said: “MSC and Maersk recognise that much has changed since the two companies signed the ten-year agreement in 2015.

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“Discontinuing the 2M alliance paves the way for both companies to continue to pursue their individual strategies.

“We have very much appreciated the partnership and look forward to a continued strong collaboration throughout the remainder of the agreement period. We remain fully committed to delivering on the 2M alliance’s services to customers of MSC and Maersk.”

MSC pushed ahead of Maersk as the world’s largest container shipping line last year, capitalising on the recent freight rate hike to expand its fleet.

The pair jointly control two-fifths of all seaborne freight, stated Financial Times.

Speaking to Reuters in an interview, Maersk head of ocean shipping Johan Sigsgaard said: “Today, we have a much different strategy, where we more look at how to integrate container shipping at sea with our land-based logistics business.

“Operating our own network gives us more flexibility and allows us to connect our ships exactly where we want.”