Transpacific Service to Resume—But Without Maersk
A transpacific ocean container service initiated to help with the shortfall of capacity in the wake of the Hanjin failure is being abandoned by one its carriers.
The Maple service, which had only three voyages, was suspended after Maersk Line announced it would no longer participate in the service as part of its 2M Alliance with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). MSC has announced it will go it alone on the transpacific trade route and that it will resume the service later this month. The service was first introduced in September. Hanjin filed for bankruptcy in a South Korean court on August 31.
Rumors had earlier circulated that the service would be canceled altogether. The rumors started when the carriers stopped advertising for the service.
One report speculated that Maersk’s withdrawal from the service was related to a recent development in South Africa, in which the country’s Competition Commission found that shipping rates between Asia and South Africa could have been inflated after collusion between six companies including MSC and Maersk. Data and documents from the carriers were seized following a tip from a public whistle blower.
The transpacific service had been part of a 10-year, 2M alliance between Maersk and MSC, which includes ship sharing on transatlantic, transpacific, and Asia-to-Europe routes. There have been no announcements about the future of the 2M Alliance.
The renewed Maple service will include new calls at Vancouver, British Columbia. MSC’s Maple service will resume on Friday, October 28, sailing from Yantian and including Vancouver in its full rotation. The MSC Rochelle will depart Yantian on October 28 and will call on Shanghai, Busan, Long Beach, and Vancouver.
“Maple is an exclusive MSC provision,” noted an MSC announcement.