Compatriot liner carriers COSCO Container Lines and China Shipping will start a slot-sharing deal in 2012 that will see China Shipping join three CKYH Alliance services as a slot buyer, COSCO said Wednesday.
In the other direction, COSCO will take space on three services in which China Shipping is the predominant vessel operator. COSCO is the largest member of the CKYH Alliance, which announced Tuesday that it would be partnering with Evergreen Line on a network of 12 Asia-Europe services from the second quarter of 2012.
The COSCO-China Shipping agreement affects the CKYH carriers’ NE3, MD1, and MD2 loops, and China Shipping’s AEX1, AEX7, and ABX loops.
The NE3 and MD1 loops are purely operated with COSCO ships, while the AEX1 and AEX7 are operated with mostly with China Shipping vessels.
According to American Shipper affiliate ComPair Data, the NE3 has a rotation of Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Ningbo, Yantian, Singapore, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Hamburg, Antwerp, Nansha, Hong Kong, and Tianjin. It’s operated with 10 vessels (including most of COSCO’s largest ships) with an average capacity of 10,830 TEUs. UASC also takes slots on the service.
The MD1 loop will have a rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Shekou, Singapore, Piraeus, Napoli, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia, Piraeus, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The service is operated with eight vessels (all from COSCO) with an average capacity of 5,250 TEUs. Schedules show at present that the service doesn’t call Barcelona and Valencia, but does call Livorno. China Shipping already takes slots on this service.
The MD2 loop has a rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Yantian, Singapore, Port Said, Ashdod, Genoa, Livorno, Marseilles-Fos, Port Said, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The service is operated with nine vessels (five from “K” Line and four from Yang Ming, both members in the CKYH Alliance) with an average capacity of 6,753 TEUs.
China’s Shipping AEX1 loop has a rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Felixstowe, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. It’s operated with nine vessels (eight from China Shipping and one from Zim) with an average capacity of 9,030 TEUs. CMA CGM and Evergreen take slots on the service.
The AEX7 loop has a rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Hong Kong, Yantian, Port Kelang, Le Havre, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Zeebrugge, Port Kelang, and Shanghai. It’s operated with 10 vessels (six from China Shipping, one each from CMA CGM, Evergreen, and UASC, and one currently undetermined) with an average capacity of 11,491 TEUs.
The ABX loop has a rotation of Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Singapore, Port Kelang, Damietta, Istanbul, Constantza, Ilyichevsk, Damietta, and Shanghai. It’s operated with eight vessels (four from China Shipping, and one each from “K” Line, Yang Ming, Wan Hai and PIL) with an average capacity of 4,303 TEUs. FESCO currently takes slots on the service.
China Shipping has myriad of other partners on the seven services it currently offers (either through operation or slot charter) between Asia and Europe, but most could be affected by the rapidly changing service landscape of the trade. The Shanghai-based line has traditionally partnered with CMA CGM on some of its Asia-Europe services (it currently swaps slots on CMA CGM’s FAL 1 and FAL 3 loops, while CMA CGM takes slots on China Shipping’s AEX1 and provides a vessel on the AEX7).
The slot share agreement with COSCO is likely intended to replace CMA CGM’s participation given the French line’s pending partnership on the Asia-Europe trade with Mediterranean Shipping Co. from March.
Aside from China Shipping’s existing slot charter on the CKYH MD1 service, another CKYH member, Hanjin Shipping, takes slots on China Shipping’s own-operated Asia-Med AMX1 loop, while (as noted above) “K” Line and Yang Ming already participate on one of the three services affected by the COSCO-China Shipping slot swap.
Meanwhile, the slot swap gives COSCO access to several ports not currently covered in its Asia-Europe network – namely, Zeebrugge, Damietta, Istanbul, Constantza, and Ilyichevsk. — Eric Johnson