As most of us within the industry are aware, Maersk recently acquired Hamburg Süd. What’s even bigger news is that Hamburg Süd has recently gotten even closer to Maersk with a new east-west slot charter agreement. Despite Maersk claiming that the agreement was “not related” to its acquisition of Hamburg Süd, the latter German carrier recently made a deal that allows them to purchase slots on Maersk vessels for its east-west volumes commencing from April 2017.
This is good news for Hamburg Süd as it has also recently terminated its slot agreement with UASC. Luckily, the new agreement covers Asia-North Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Transatlantic and Transpacific trade lanes. According to Søren Toft, who is the chief operating officer for Maersk Line, Maersk is happy with the agreement as it promises improved utilization within their fleet and creates new customer and service related opportunities, as they will be able to improve their customer offering on select trades.
Board member Frank Smet stated that Hamburg Süd is also very pleased with the agreement that they have made with Maersk as they know that their customer base is set to benefit from the extended port coverage, improved transit times and an enhanced number of loops regarding the east-west trades. Ultimately, it is a win-win agreement for both Maersk and Hamburg Süd.
These changes are not new for Hamburg Süd. Back in December of 2014, they concluded a “global co-operation agreement” with UASC, which involved slots on four UASC Asia-US west coast loops and one US east coast service, two Asia to North Europe strings and one Asia-Med service and several of Hamburg Süd’s South American services. The reason for the conclusion of this agreement was the fact that the German carrier found the Asia-North Europe market to be difficult to manage, especially considering that freight rates were in freefall. As a result, they struggled to fill their allocations, yet still had to pay for their slots regardless of whether they used them or not.
We will have to wait and see if this new agreement leads to better results for Hamburg Süd. Keep an eye on our blogs and news page for more updates. Alternatively, if you are interested in learning more about our quality, cost effective shipping solutions, please get in touch with us.