Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd in Slot Purchase Agreement
Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd have announced a slot purchase agreement for Hamburg Süd’s volumes on the east-west trades to be shipped on vessels in the 2M network. Due to changes in the global liner alliances, the agreement follows commercial negotiations in anticipation of the termination of Hamburg Süd’s current slot purchase arrangements on the East-West trades.
The agreement is scheduled to begin April 1, subject to maritime filing requirements being satisfied. It covers the Asia-North Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, transatlantic, and transpacific trades. Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd are party to a number of such operational agreements worldwide.
The slot purchase agreement is not related to the announcement in December of Maersk Line’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd.
“Accommodating these additional volumes enables improved utilization in our fleet and in turn provides opportunities to enhance our customer offering on select trades in our East-West network”, says Søren Toft, chief operating officer of Maersk Line.
“Our customers will benefit from extended port coverage, best transit times, and an increased number of loops in the east–west trades,” said Frank Smet, Member of the Executive Board of Hamburg Süd.
Maersk Line is in the process of acquiring Hamburg Süd, which is owned by Oekter Group, a European family-run investments company. Hamburg Süd is the world’s seventh largest container shipping line and a leader in the north-south trading lanes. The company operates 130 container vessels with a container capacity of 625,000 TEU. With the acquisition, Maersk Line will have container capacity of around 3.8 million TEU and an 18.6-percent global capacity share. The combined fleet will consist of 741 container vessels with an average age of 8.7 years.
The acquisition marks an historic change for Maersk, which in the past eschewed acquisitions in favor of organic growth.