Since the largest container carrier in South Korea, Hanjin Shipping, filed for receivership on 1 September, the future of THE Alliance is now full of uncertainty.
The loss of one of the most important members of the group (also including “K” Line, MOL, NYK, Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming) is a heavy blow to THE Alliance and shipping industry as well. Hanjin was the second largest of the group.
According to Drewry, it is clear that the group is not having the same relevance in the market without Hanjin’s capacity:
“While acknowledging that making perfectly accurate market share projections is impossible at this stage, we can safely say that THE Alliance will be far smaller than its two rivals. It’s potential to upsize by using ships currently outside of the alliance east-west network parameters and with new ships is also far smaller than the other two groups.”
According to calculations by Drewry Maritime Services, the inclusion of UASC (is set to merge with Hapag-Lloyd) will give them the 24% of the market share, but is still far away from its top competitors. The 2M alliance, which includes Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), has a market share of 31% and the Ocean Alliance (OOCL, Evergreen, COSCO Container Lines, and CMA CGM) has 34% of the market Share.
NYK Line chairman, Yasumi Kudo recently indicated that working with Hanjin Shipping would be difficult for THE Alliance’s Japanese members and a co-operation would be “impossible”.
Drewry thinks THE alliance might be looking for a replacement for Hanjin and some possible candidates could be Hamburg Süd –The most favorable option according to the maritime consultancy with a capacity of 700,000 teu- followed by PIL (400,000 teu) , Zim (375,000 teu), and Wan Hai (275,000 teu).