The Grand Alliance the liner shipping consortium has had its life extended to 2017. It is made up of NYK Line of Japan, OOCL of Hong Kong, Hapag-Lloyd of Germany and MISC Berhad of Malaysia.
A key part of the plan is to offer a higher frequency of sailings in fast growing markets to meet increasing customer needs. Depending on customer demands, members will consider expanding the scope of the alliance.
The four lines deploy in their services a total of some 140 ships with a capacity of between 2,700 and 9,000 TEU offering 20 services, mainly on major east- west routes.
The alliance is at pains to make it clear that it is not like traditional shipping conferences. It says: “Cooperation among members is restricted to provision of joint port-to-port services, on which each member is allocated space to market on its own account. The shipping lines compete with each other to attract customers, and there is no discussion or agreement within the alliance on any commercial matters such as in particular fixing freight rates.”