The announcement that Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd are joining forces in what they call the “Gemini Cooperation” comes with little surprise. The three transpacific Vessel Sharing Alliances (VSAs) serving USA ports are prime for a makeover in the next year or two. Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) announced the dissolution of the ‘2M Alliance’ in January, 2023, which sets the stage for new or no partnerships in January, 2025. Then in August, 2023, CMA-CGM (CMA) announced their purchase of Global Container Terminals (GCT) in the New York Port—which includes two of the five container terminals. Since GCT Bayonne is home to ‘THE Alliance’, and not CMA’s ‘Ocean Alliance’, there has been much speculation around the shift of carriers within all three alliances this year.

THE Alliance was founded in 2016—made up of Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Yang Ming. THE Alliance is one of three global liner alliances along with 2M and the Ocean Alliance, whose members comprise CMA CGM, Evergreen, and COSCO.

Now, Hapag-Lloyd has announced its exit from THE Alliance, therefore leaving GCT Bayonne to join with Maersk who uses A.P. Moller-Maersk (APM) Terminal.

Will any of the other THE Alliance members follow? — It seems unlikely.

With MSC seemingly striking out on its own, and the Gemini Cooperation now announced that THE Alliance may need a larger carrier, like CMA, to bolster their trade lanes. That would leave the Chinese and Taiwanese carriers to cover the Ocean Alliance. We are therefore likely to see more changes and possibly some consolidation of carriers in the upcoming year.

What the New Carrier Agreements Look Like

MSC – possibly going solo (currently calling APM and PNCT terminals in Port of New York)

Gemini Cooperation – Likely calling APM Terminal

Ocean Alliance – Currently Maher Terminal
Cosco & OOCL (co-owned)

THE Alliance – Currently GCT ‘Liberty’ Terminal Bayonne
Yang Ming Line

Mohawk Global will continue to monitor these alliance changes and ensure we are providing the best service.

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Rich Roche