Eurogate announces that Wilhelmshaven, Germany’s only deep-water port, will welcome six further container shipping lines in April 2017 to include Hamburg Sud, Hyundai Merchant Marine, and the newly-formed shipping alliance OCEAN Alliance. Wilhelmshaven offers recognizable nautical advantages for the ever-larger vessels serving between Asia and Northern Europe, especially given the unprecedented scale of change due to intensifying consolidation between shipping lines.
While the steady consolidation of major carriers is expected to bolster and support pricing, it’s currently unclear how their schedules will affect shipping lanes around the world. As expected, the danger of undercutting prices to gain early market share, leaves analysts curious about the first few months of operations as the alliances work together. As some ports are starting to consolidate into terminal gateways, most notably those of the East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement and Global Ports Group Agreement, there is a trend toward the power of the collective being used to manage previously difficult economic swings.
OCEAN Alliance is expected to call upon Wilhelmshaven weekly with vessels exceeding 18,000 TEUs that operate within their “Asia-North Europe 1” scheduled service. Through operational cooperation with Maersk Line and the 2M Alliance, Hamburg Sud and Hyundai Merchant Marine will start operating services from Wilhelmshaven in April. From April 2017, there are expected to be three major alliances within the global container market: Maersk Line and MSC under 2M, COSCO Shipping, OOCL, CMA, CGM, and Evergreen under OCEAN Alliance, and Hapag Lloyd, NYK, K-Line, MOL, and Yangming under the Alliance. The planned rotation for the OCEAN Alliance’s scheduled “Asia–North Europe 1” service is: Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Yantian (Shenzhen), Singapore, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Gdansk, Wilhelmshaven, Felixstowe, Singapore, Yantian (Shenzhen), Shanghai.