The CMA CGM Group, the world's third largest container shipping company, said today it has formed an alliance with China Shipping Container Lines and United Arab Shipping Co. to serve the world's largest maritime markets, including service to and from North America.
The alliance, which will operate under the name of "Ocean Three," will involve a combination of vessel-sharing agreements, slot-exchange agreements, and slot-charter agreements. Slot exchanges and slot charters allow the carriers to swap and lease slots capable of handling 20-foot equivalent containers (TEUs) aboard each other's vessels.
The alliance will serve the Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, the trans-Pacific, and the Asia-U.S. East Coast trades. Asia-U.S. East Coast services will transit through the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Mexico. Agreements to serve the trans-Atlantic trade are still being finalized, French carrier CMA CGM said in the statement announcing the alliance.
The trans-Pacific service will involve four weekly service to California and one weekly service into the Pacific Northwest serving the United States and Canada, CMA CGM said.
The announcement comes nearly three months after the Chinese government rejected the so-called P3 alliance involving CMA CGM, Danish carrier Maersk Line, and Swiss carrier Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC), thus scuttling the agreement. In July, Maersk and MSC announced a 10-year vessel-sharing agreement.