Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) have signed a ten-year vessel sharing agreement (VSA) on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trades.
Referred to as 2M, the new cooperation is intended for infrastructure sharing and replaces Maersk Line’s existing VSAs and slot-purchase agreements in these trades.
Maersk Group CEO Nils Andersen said: "Over the last years, Maersk Line has established itself as a leader in the industry through its customer focus and by improving its competitive cost position.
"With this agreement Maersk Line will be able to further enhance its customer offering while also reducing costs and CO2 emissions."
The agreement includes 185 vessels, with an estimated capacity of 2.1 million TEU, deployed on 21 strings, and excludes joint marine operations and commercial tasks or responsibilities.
Maersk Line will contribute 110 vessels with a nominal capacity of around 1.2 million TEU, while the remaining fleet, with 0.9 million TEU capacity, will be provided by MSC.
The new VSA will allow Maersk Line and MSC to provide direct services to more ports, thereby helping their customers to benefit from stable and frequent services.
Furthermore, the deal will enable the two companies to better use vessel capacity and economies of scale to improve efficiency of their respective networks.
The VSA is expected to start in early 2015 and is subject to some case approvals by relevant authorities.