« BackThere is the potential for major changes to the shipping industry in 2018. SeaIntel predicts that there will be 108 ultra-large container vessels delivered in 2018, more than doubling the current number in operation. There are currently three major global alliances that control the east-west container trades: Ocean Alliance, The Alliance and 2M. The majority of ultra-large container vessel (excess of 14,000 TEU) deliveries will be for members of the Ocean Alliance according to SeaIntel’s recent report. The Ocean Alliance consists of CMA CGM, OOCL, Evergreen and COSCO Shipping. The Alliance and 2M will phase in new deliveries of ultra-large container vessels primarily by changing existing service. By contrast, Ocean Alliance will be growing their ultra-large vessels by 60% in 2018. This is likely to occur in the early part of the year. SeaIntel Chief Executive, Alan Murphy, has said that shippers should prepare for, “a 2018 wherein the network structures of 2M and The Alliance are likely to undergo only smaller modifications, but wherein we will see an Ocean Alliance potentially change the network more drastically, offering new products and network structures, driven by the rapid delivery of large vessels.” This week Ocean Alliance announced its revised network services to include 20 transpacific services, four Asia-Mediterranean services, six Asia-Europe loops, four transatlantic strings, two Asia-Red Sea services and five serving Asia-Middle East routes and in total. Ocean freight clients are cautioned that substantial changes in service often result in congestion and delays. As the full scope of changes have not yet been revealed clients may wish to anticipate some additional transit time when purchasing goods. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Norman Krieger Representative for more information.