The G6 Alliance unveiled plans today to expand into the trans-Atlantic and Asia-U.S. West Coast trade lanes in a widely expected response to the proposed P3 Network partnership between the world’s three largest carriers, Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM.
The G6 carriers — Hapag-Lloyd, NYK, OOCL, Hyundai Merchant Marine, APL and MOL — will deploy 240 container ships serving 66 ports in Asia, America and Europe.
The alliance plans to complete the expansion of services by the second quarter of 2014, pending regulatory approval, to coincide with the launch of the P3 network on the Asia-Europe, trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes. Details on port coverage will be announced at a later date.
The lines, which currently cooperate on the Asia-Europe and Asia-U.S. East Coast routes, will operate 76 vessels covering 12 services connecting 27 ports in Asia and on the West Coast of the United States.
A further 42 ships will operate five trans-Atlantic services, including two pendulum services, calling at 25 ports in the U.S., Canada, Panama, Mexico, the Netherlands, the U.K., France, Belgium and Germany.
“The proposed expansion will complement our existing services in the Asia–North America East Coast and Asia–Europe trades, allowing us to deploy the most suitable ships for each loop across the trades,” the G6 carriers said in a joint statement.
“With greater service flexibility and operational synergies, the G6 alliance will have an even more resilient and robust network – giving shippers a wider coverage area and shorter transit times without reducing the total capacity.”
Each G6 carrier will be able to offer almost twice as many sailings on the Asia-North America trade as what it currently operates separately, the alliance said.
The six container lines that make up the G6 accounted for 27.1 percent of U.S. containerized export trade and 28.6 percent of U.S. containerized import trade in the first nine months of 2013, according to information compiled from PIERS, the Data Division of JOC Group Inc. Not all services offered by these lines will be included in the G6 expansion; Hapag-Lloyd, for example, has noted that it will continue to offer its ATA services and Mediterranean services, outside of the G6.