SHENZHEN, China — Cosco Group Director and President Ma Zehua on Wednesday said the company’s container line will expand its partnership with China Shipping, but he declined to comment on speculation that the two ailing Chinese carriers would merge.
“The leadership in recent years for these two companies has had much interaction. There is much speculation on what we will do together. I cannot tell you whether we will merge; I will have to let you guess.” Ma said at The Journal of Commerce’s TPM Asia Conference in Shenzhen, China.
He said global liner cooperation is “inevitable,” and the two Chinese carriers will further strengthen their ties after launching a joint domestic service earlier this month. Ma said the increased cooperation between the two companies would go beyond the container shipping business.
Cosco and China Shipping on Oct. 11 announced plans to jointly operate routes from north and northeast China to Fujian and Shantou, both in the southern province of Guandong, in mid-October.
Ma’s comments on increased cooperation with China Shipping came after he forecast an improved container shipping industry market in 2013 and called for increased shipper-carrier cooperation.