A new cooperation agreement between Danish giants Maersk and Germany’s Hapag Lloyd has been announced this week, much to the surprise of the shipping fraternity.
The two major carriers have confirmed the formation of their new ‘Gemini Cooperation’ effective from February 2025, which will operate 26 major services utilising almost 300 vessels. The future partners will be providing around 3.4million TEU of Capacity, with the lion’s share of 60% coming from Maersk.
The news came as a big surprise as many expected Maersk to be operating independently of other carriers after mutually agreeing a split with MSC, which effectively signalled the future end of the 2M Alliance. The communication that followed the 2M announcement certainly seemed to indicate that Maersk would be operating within their own network, although according to a recent statement from their CEO, Hapag are “the ideal partner on our strategic journey”.
Hapag Lloyd’s involvement is perhaps more surprising though. They are existing members of THE Alliance (THEA), along with ONE, Yang Ming and HMM, and according to a report in The Loadstar, the alliance agreement was extended for 10 years when HMM joined in April 2020. What happens with the remaining THEA members seems to be very much up in the air at the moment and further carrier shake-ups seem inevitable.
Our ocean freight team are keeping a keen eye on developments and will advise when we have further information.