Dubai – United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) is expected join The Allianceformed between five of Asia’s largest shipping lines and Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, according to reports. Mitsui O.S.K (MOL), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), “K” Line, Hanjin, Yang Ming and Hapag-Lloyd this week confirmed that a binding agreement has been concluded by all partners. The Alliance, as it is known by the lines, will cover all the East-West trade lanes, including those between Asia and the Middle East and Red Sea regions. The shipping lines in a joint statement said their alliance is scheduled to begin operations in April 2017, subject to the approval of all relevant regulatory authorities. The initial term of the cooperation will be five years. UASC is expected to join the alliance in the coming weeks. The Middle East’s largest shipping line is currently in advanced negotiations with Hapag-Lloyd regarding a possible merger or partnership. With Hapag-Lloyd a confirmed member of The Alliance, it is anticipated that UASC will be forced to join regardless of the outcome of the talks. The new partnership will create one of the leading networks in the container shipping industry with around an 18% share of the global container fleet capacity. If UASC’s participation is confirmed, The Alliance’s share of the global container shipping market will increase to more than 20%. A statement from the carriers promised enhanced port coverage in the Middle East, as well as very attractive transit times for all shippers in the East-West trade lanes.
Source: The MediTelegraph