MAJOR U.S./AUSTRALIA CARRIERS AGREE VESSEL-SHARING PACT
Four major carriers serving the West Coast of North America and Australia/New Zealand container trade direct have agreed to cooperate under a 15-vessel vessel-sharing agreement.
Australia-New Zealand Direct Line, Columbus Line, FESCO Ocean Management Ltd. and P&O Nedlloyd/Blue Star Line have filed their proposed vessel-sharing agreement with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. Under the plan, they would operate a two-loop rotation of 15 vessels, providing shippers with twice-weekly sailings between West Coast North American ports and Australia and New Zealand. The service would also call Tahiti and Fiji on alternate voyages northbound.
At present, ANZDL runs a seven-ship service in the U.S. West Coast/Australia/New Zealand route, on which sister company Contship Containerlines takes slots. FESCO has a separate eight-vessel service. P&O Nedlloyd and Columbus have a seven-ship vessel-sharing agreement that employs seven ships, according to ComPairData, the global liner shipping database on the Internet at http://www.compairdata.com. The vessel-sharing agreement would represent a merger and restructuring of the three direct weekly loops into two.
Subject to regulatory clearance, the new agreement will be implemented in the first quarter of the year.