MSC and Maersk untangle the transatlantic 2M fleet


According to sources, MSC and Maersk continue to change the way they cooperate on the major east-to-west trade routes. The 2M partners are increasingly moving away from services operated with mixed fleets of ships from both shipping companies in favor of joint loops that are operated by only one of the two partners. Hence, MSC and Maersk untangle the transatlantic 2M fleet.

After ‘unraveling’ the fleets deployed on the Asia-Europe route, the partners of the Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) recently did the same for their three Transatlantic services connecting northern Europe and the east coast of the United States. Since Maersk-chartered 7,000 TEU vessel NORTHERN MAJESTIC left the fleet of the ‘TA3’ service (or ‘NEUATL3’ for MSC) between northern Europe and the east coast of the United States and the U.S. Gulf last week, this Transatlantic loop is now fully operated by MSC vessels. The Geneva-based shipping company will withdraw the 9,408 TEU vessel MSC DESIREE in mid-November and operate the ‘TA3/NEUATL3’ with seven vessels ranging from 5,550 to 6,730 TEU, calling at Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Newark (New York), Charleston, Veracruz, Altamira, New Orleans, Mobile, Freeport (Bahamas), Charleston, and Antwerp.

The ‘TA2/NEUATL2’ of 2M between northern Europe and the east coast of the United States already became a loop operated by Maersk last September when its fleet was reduced from six vessels of 6,800 to 9,200 TEU to six units of 4,130 to 5,100 TEU. In addition to these two loops, the ‘TA1/NEUATL1’ has always been a service operated by Maersk, as the Danish shipping company deploys U.S.-flagged vessels of 4,820 TEU. 2M partner MSC is a co-loader on this loop. The termination of the 2M Vessel Sharing Agreement in 2025 is expected to proceed smoothly, as the two partners increasingly avoid mixed operations in joint loops.

At present, the ‘TA6/Medgulf’ between the Mediterranean and the U.S. Gulf remains an exception, as it is operated with a mixed fleet of five MSC vessels ranging from 7,470 to 9,580 TEU and four Maersk units from 6,540 to 7,250 TEU. Having one of the alliance partners operating joint loops is not exclusive to the 2M partnership. In trade between Asia and northern Europe, the Ocean Alliance partners currently offer seven weekly loops, two of which are operated by CMA CGM and Evergreen each. The remaining three services feature tonnage from sister shipping companies COSCO SHIPPING Lines and OOCL.

Source: Alphaliner

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