Container shipping giants say discontinuing the 10-year vessel-sharing partnership ‘paves the way for both companies to continue to pursue their individual strategies’

Container shipping giants Maersk and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) have agreed to terminate the 2M alliance they formed eight years ago, with the vessel-sharing collaboration to end in January 2025.

In a joint statement, CEO Vincent Clerc of Maersk’s parent group, A. P. Moller – Maersk, and CEO Soren Toft of MSC said: “MSC and Maersk recognize that much has changed since the two companies signed the 10-year agreement in 2015. Discontinuing the 2M alliance paves the way for both companies to continue to pursue their individual strategies

“We have very much appreciated the partnership and look forward to a continued strong collaboration throughout the remainder of the agreement period. We remain fully committed to delivering on the 2M alliance’s services to customers of MSC and Maersk.”

They said today’s announcement “has no immediate impact on the services provided to customers using the 2M trades. Each company’s customer teams will communicate with their respective clients to support during, and beyond, the phase-out of the 2M alliance.”

2M is a container shipping line vessel sharing agreement (VSA) that was introduced in 2015 by Maersk and MSC, with the aim of “ensuring competitive and cost-efficient operations on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trades”. The 2M agreement has a minimum term of 10 years with a 2-year notice period of termination.

Commenting separately on the agreement’s termination, MSC CEO Soren Toft said: “The 2M alliance played a key role in supporting the container shipping industry over the past eight years. At MSC today, we continue to strengthen and modernize our fleet, providing us with the scale we need for the most comprehensive ocean and short-sea shipping network in the market. We remain focused on delivering high-quality, personal service to a wide range of clients, as we continue to develop cargo-carrying solutions on the oceans and beyond.”

MSC said 2M “was introduced in 2015 at a time when the ocean carrier industry needed an injection of stability. MSC is grateful for the operational cooperation with Maersk over the past eight years and expects the concept of ocean liner vessel-sharing to remain relevant and beneficial to carriers and their customers.”

It concluded: “As liner industry leaders, with the largest fleet, order book and network coverage, MSC will continue to respond to client demand from across the market through a growing portfolio of shipping, inland, logistics and digital solutions, as well as its emerging air cargo offering.”

Source: will waters