Changes to ocean carrier alliances
Further to the sweeping changes to the carrier alliances in April 2017, further changes have occurred recently which once again are having an impact on ocean freight as a whole.
Following the merger of all Japanese carriers into one, the alliances now line up as follows:
HMM (although their AEX service remains independent)
Maersk (Including Hamburg Sud)
HMM (AEX service)
The three alliances have about 70% of the market share, with the top 15 carriers growing their share of global shipping capacity from 78% to 85% in 2017 through various mergers and acquisitions. This is expected to continue throughout 2018.
The efficiency of loading within these three alliances that share ships has led to a surplus of vessels, with the increase in consolidation adding to the need for fewer vessels and therefore bringing down rates.