Leading the way for a global shipping industry that is bigger and more consolidated than ever: The Mumbai Maersk has broken the record for the largest amount of cargo ever stowed after leaving Malaysia last week with 19,038 TEU aboard.
Maersk Line is at the vanguard of an industry consolidated like never before, as it has struggled to deal with volatile supply and demand, excess capacity and the introduction of megaships, like the Mumbai Maersk.
With a load of 19,038 TEU, the Mumbai Maersk sets a world record for the highest-ever load and surpasses the mythical 19,000-mark for the very first time.
The consolidation of the ocean freight industry continued in the first half of 2018, as a trio of Japanese carriers merged into ONE.
Recent merger and acquisition activity commenced in the wake of the 2016 Hanjin Shipping collapse, which saw the number of major multi-trade lane shipping lines dropping from 21 in 2011 to 12 global carriers following the 2018 merger of the three Japanese carriers into Ocean Network Express and COSCO’s acquisition of OOCL.
Nine of the remaining 12 ocean carriers are members of three global alliances – 2M, OCEAN and THE Alliance – that agree on the supply of vessel capacity in the major trade routes, supplying around 90% of vessel capacity in each, amounting to 80% markey share globally.
33% – 2M
30% – Ocean Alliance
17% – THE Alliance
Maersk’s 2017 purchase of Hamburg Süd is expected to offer cost synergies of between $350 million and $400 million by 2019.
CMA CGM, the third-largest ocean carrier, is set to purchase container shipping and logistics business Containerships, which will follow their recent acquisition of a 25% stake in CEVA Logistics, a leading provider of supply chain solutions, contract logistics and freight forwarding.
A recent report to the US Freight and Maritime Commission found that, even with the reduction in the alliances and mergers of major shipping lines, the container shipping industry remains competitive.
At the beginning of 2018, ocean carriers deployed 21.1 million TEUs of ship capacity globally, a massive 70% increase from 2009.
The report concluded that alliances can be very beneficial for shippers because. “Such alliances allow participants to obtain efficiencies and cost-savings that can be passed on to customers, especially when healthy competition exists among vessel operators.”