The announcement of the merge of the container line businesses of NYK, K Line and Mitsui OSK Lines in a joint venture to be formed on 1 July 2017, will result in the world’s sixth largest container line with a 6.6% of capacity, based existing vessels on the water.
By 2018 when the three Japanese lines are set to have fully merged – the top seven lines, the others being Maersk Line, MSC, CMA CGM, Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd (including UASC), and Evergreen, will control over 65% of the global container ship capacity. “They are expected to continue to widen the gap with the rest of the market in the coming years,” Alphaliner commented in its weekly report.
The spate of consolidation the industry has seen announced over the last month will see the 20 lines that at the start of 2016 operated in three or more continents reduced to just 14.
It leaves a shrinking number of mid-sized players in 2% - 3% share operating on the main trades with OOCL, Yang Ming, Hyundai Merchant Marine and Hamburg Sud. “This could prompt some of these ’smaller’ independent carriers such as Hamburg Sud, OOCL and Yang Ming to seek consolidation partners of their own, in order to compete more effectively against their larger rivals,” the report said.
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