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 (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.