Ocean Carrier Alliances Prepare For Deploying New Mega Vessels

The Alliance members Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, HMM, and Yang Ming have settled on their April network plans that feature ship upgrades in Asia to North Europe, the Mediterranean, and the US east coast services.

Lead line Hapag-Lloyd reportedly mentioned one of the key highlights would be the deployment of its 23,500 TEU new build ULCVs on the Asia-North Europe trade lane to replace smaller vessels.

In April, the carrier is yet to start receiving six LNG-powered ULCVs from South Korea’s shipyard dubbed Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.

Declaring the order, Rolf Habben Jansen, the CEO, mentioned that the investment would see the carrier lower slot costs and enhance our competitiveness on the Asia-North Europe trade lane.

Hapag-Lloyd said another significant highlight of 2023’s network improvements was adding 14,000-15,000 TEU vessels on Asia and Mediterranean services and the transpacific between Asia and the US east coast.

Ocean Carrier
Credits: Hapag Lloyd

A unique supply chain platform dubbed area’s well-known analyst Patrick Fach-Pedersen said that the only significant adjustment to THEA was the dropping of PS8 Asia to Pacific’s north coast loop that was introduced back in 2018, with other adjustments restricted to calls added or discarded on existing services.

Meanwhile, earlier in December 2022, the rival Ocean Alliance partners declared their annual network adjustments, bringing forward the commencement to 1 January from 1 April, which they said was to coincide with the introduction of the new IMO 2023 vessel efficiency regulations.

Similarly to THEA, the Ocean did not make any significant network adjustments other than a reduction from 14 to 12 in transpacific loops, with different iterations restricted to rotation changes.

However, like THEA, the phasing-in of 24,000 TEU new builds next year to replace smaller tonnage – in such a case, ordered by the OOCL – will enhance the alliance’s capacity offering.
Between three alliances, the current order book stands at about five million TEU, stemming for delivery within the next two to three years.

Meanwhile, the two million alliances of Maersk and MSC are yet to declare network changes for next year, even though Maersk has reported that, from the January 2023 end, it would be ensuring service speed optimization on transpacific Asia-US east coast loops.

References: Business News, The Load Star

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