Ports for THE Alliance, but no ship sizes

09 Mar 2017
UK monopoly: All of the mainline UK calls by THE Alliance carriers on the Asia-Europe trade will be handled by DP World’s terminals at London Gateway and Southampton

UK monopoly: All of the mainline UK calls by THE Alliance carriers on the Asia-Europe trade will be handled by DP World’s terminals at London Gateway and Southampton

THE Alliance may have finalised port calls for its new vessel sharing agreement, but without news on the size of ships due to call at ports questions still remain.

Speaking to Port Strategy, Dean Davison, general manager consulting and commercial advisory services, Inchcape Shipping Services, said that this information has proved to be the missing link in the whole alliance shake-up.

With the port calls now announced, he said that now shippers could at least start to make import/export plans.

“Specifically for THE Alliance, I think the big noticeable development is filling in the gaps for SE Asia hubs. Now there is better coverage,” he told PS.

He added that there are no big surprises in the schedules which are, as expected, pretty comprehensive with key ports being called at in areas on the major trade routes.

In addition to its port network, THE Alliance has announced a “first of its kind” contingency plan in the event of a member carrier suffering bankruptcy. If this happens, an independent trust fund will safeguard cargo on board of the affected members’ ships and ensure it is carried to the port of destination.

This is a reaction to the chaos caused by the high profile bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping last year.

Mr Davison continued: “The Alliance carriers themselves have been suffering from poor results, as almost all of the lines have, but with Yang Ming supported by the government and the Japanese lines themselves due to be reorganised into one operating entity, the use of a trustee can offer some comfort to shippers and help offer some confidence moving forward."

The member carriers of the THE Alliance consortium include Hapag Lloyd, “K” Line, MOL, NYK Line, and Yang Ming Line. The vessel sharing agreement comes into effect on 1 April. The port call rotation can be found here: http://www.kline.co.jp/en/news/detail/1207229_1997.html