Industry titans Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd forge operational cooperation deal

Container shipping industry giants Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk have signed an agreement for a new long-term operational collaboration called ”Gemini Cooperation”, which will start in February 2025.

“Teaming up with Maersk will help us to further boost the quality we deliver to our customers. Additionally, we will benefit from efficiency gains in our operations and joint efforts to further accelerate the decarbonization of our industry,” says Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd.

The new cooperation between Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk will comprise a fleet pool of around 290 vessels with a combined capacity of 3.4 million containers (TEU); Maersk will deploy 60% and Hapag-Lloyd 40%.

As highlighted by Jensen many of these ships will be ready to adopt cleaner fuels.

“We are pleased to enter this cooperation with Hapag-Lloyd, which is the ideal ocean partner on our strategic journey. By entering this cooperation, we will be offering our customers a flexible ocean network that will be raising the bar for reliability in the industry. This will strengthen our integrated logistics offering and meet our customers’ needs,” says Vincent Clerc, CEO of Maersk.

As a part of the agreement, the two companies have set the ambitious target of delivering schedule reliability of above 90% once the network is fully phased in. The aim is to improved service quality, resulting in improved transit times in many major port-to-port corridors and access to some of the world’s best connected ocean hubs.

Both companies are committed to the decarbonization of their fleets and have set the most ambitious decarbonization targets in the industry with Maersk aiming for net-zero in 2040 and Hapag-Lloyd in 2045.

These efforts have resulted in significant investments in energy-efficiency improvements and alternatively-powered ships, including LNG and biofuels by Hapag-Lloyd and methanol by Maersk.

The cooperation deal will result in Hapag-Lloyd leaving THE Alliance end of January 2025, coinciding with the parting of ways between Maersk and MSC.

“Let me be very transparent here, this is not a decision against THE Alliance, which has been a long-standing, trusted and successful partnership for us. It is a next step to build something new that we believe will enable us to generate even more value for our customers by pairing our Hapag-Lloyd customer service with much higher operational quality in a robust and resilient network,” Jensen pointed out, noting that the move does not represent a change of strategic direction for Hapag-Lloyd.

“We remain fully focused on liner shipping and the closely connected terminal and inland operations. We have no intention to become a logistics integrator. We do believe, however, that with Maersk we have found a like-minded partner who shares our passion for quality and sustainability.”

During 2024, Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd said that they would carefully plan the transition from their current alliances to the new operational cooperation.

As disclosed, the cooperation will cover 7 trades: Asia / US West Coast, Asia / US East Coast, Asia / Middle East, Asia / Mediterranean, Asia / North Europe, Middle East – India / Europe and Transatlantic.

The network will comprise 26 mainline services, complemented by a global network of dedicated shuttles centered around owned and/ or controlled transshipment hubs. This will translate to 14 shuttle services in Europe, 4 in the Middle East, 13 in Asia, and one in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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