>> Transpacific - port coverage from April 1st.more.

>> Are direct services becoming less attractive for shipping lines?. more.

>> What happens to the small ships post Panama Canal expansion?. more.

>> Maersk to acquire Hamburg-Sud and reinforce its presence on the Latin America routes. more.

>>£0.5 trillion of trade passes through UK ports. More.

>> The future of rail freight and private investment. More.

>> The Northern Freight and Logistics report. More. 

>> Oxford Cambridge Expressway Study. More.

>> The potential impact of Brexit on trade. More.

>> India - the impact of shipping lines’ consolidation and the cabotage rule change. More.

>> Iran – changes in maritime services post-sanctions. more.

>> 'India: The only way is up' say MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> Hanjin’s collapse - A wake-up call to the industry? More.

>> Peak season 2016: could the seemingly more rational shipping lines restore stability to the market?. More.

>> Panama Canal Expansion: the major announcements so far have been made by the CKYHE Alliance and G6 Alliance: each have indicated the upsizing of some of their vessels on the services passing through the Panama Canal as shown in MDS Transmodal's analysis. More.

>> CMA-CGM’s acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines and Cosco’s merger with China Shipping Container Line (CSCL), prompted the need for a few changes in the current capacity-sharing agreements amongst the shipping lines. More.

>> MDST has been appointed by Transport for the North (TfN), in partnership with York Aviation and Regeneris Consulting, to carry out a review of international passenger connectivity in the North of England. More.

>> Chris Rowland, Managing Director of MDST, presented the draft conclusions from the Transport for the North (TfN) Freight & Logistics Strategy at the Freight in the City Conference in Manchester on 3 March 2016. More.

>> With 22 maritime services, Iran is expected to see an increase of around 250% in the capacity of container shipping passing through its ports in spring 2016, as shipping lines seek to benefit from the removal of sanctions. More.

>> MDST Chairman, Mike Garratt, wrote to the editor of RAIL magazine in March about the future of rail freight in Great Britain. More.

>> MDST has examined the evidence for Chinese ‘dumping’ of steel on the global and UK markets using its World Cargo Database, which allows it to monitor world trade by both volume and value and for detailed commodities. More.

>> East Asia export box trade sees growth of 1.7% in 2015, says MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has published road traffic forecasts which used MDST’s GB Freight Model (GBFM) to develop forecasts to 2040 for HGV traffic on the British road network. More.

>> Ports should be at the centre of distribution chains says MDST. More.

>> Based on its analysis of Eurostat port statistics and its own World Cargo Database, MDS Transmodal has concluded that ports handled 640 million tonnes in 2014, a market share of 40%. More.

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Transpacific - port coverage from April 1st [1]

April 1st is expected to mark another significant milestone for the container shipping industry as the new Alliances, the Ocean Alliance (Orient Overseas Container Line, Cosco Shipping Line, Evergreen Line, CMA CGM with its APL brand) and THE Alliance (NYK Line, MOL, ‘K’ Line, Yang Ming Line, and Hapag-Lloyd-United Arab Shipping Co) will start their services.

April 1st will also see the beginning of a new co-operation involving the 2M’s partners (Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co) and Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) and the slot purchase agreement between Maersk Line and Hambürg Sud. Although the Transpacific will remain dominated by the other two Alliances, the new agreements signed by 2M might help Maersk and MSC to boost their competitiveness in this market. 2M could encourage growth of its services on the Transpacific by offering competitive rates so the prospect of a new ‘price war’ should not be dismissed.

With only days to the launching date, however, not much has been revealed by the new Alliances regarding the size of the vessels they will deploy making difficult to gauge the impact that these services will have on overall supply of container shipping capacity. Based on the schedules released by CMA-CGM and Hapag-Lloyd, the major players for the Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance respectively, along with the information released by 2M to date, we have examined the port rotations characterising the services scheduled from April. Note, however, that at the time of this analysis, THE Alliance has not yet released the full details of its network.

In this short analysis, we have focused our attention on the Transpacific trade lane, being one of the key routes for the new Alliances.

The following chart, showing the number of services for the top 10 ports for the three Alliances, illustrates that the Asian ports will remain the main ports; seven ports featuring in the top 10.

Figure 1: Number of services by Alliance - Far East - North America (from April 2017) Source: MDS Transmodal’s elaborations

 Ocean Alliance

With 104 calls and stopping at 36 unique ports on the Far-East trade lane, Ocean Alliance will remain the main Alliance on this market with Shanghai and Yantian the two main ports both attracting nine calls.  Comparing the port rotations as scheduled so far by the Ocean Alliance to those in place in March for its members, we count 12 ports which will be removed from April, nine in the Far East and three in North America.

THE Alliance

Based on the information released so far by the THE Alliance, it will have 88 calls on this market calling at 33 unique ports; the ports with more calls being Los Angeles (nine) and Oakland (8). The casualties for the THE Alliance will be seven in total: five in the Far East and two in North America (one on each coast).


With only 31 calls and 19 unique ports, the 2M will remain the less important player in this market. Shanghai, Yantian and Pusan will remain the main ports for 2M on the Far East-North America routes all attracting eight calls each. Based on the information available so far, all ports in the port rotations scheduled in March have been confirmed for April.


[1]   For March, we have taken into account only Fully Cellular and Semi-Cellular ships of at least 8,000 teu