Maersk stated they would not lose market share, which we can guess only means
they won't be pushing to raise rates.
So the other carriers are getting together and forming joint services (Vessel Sharing Agreements, VSA's), to at least save some money.
The latest one is Hamburg Süd and MSC
Here is the press release from Hamburg Süd
Hamburg Süd and MSC fuse Mediterranean – South America East Coast Services
Hamburg, 22 December 2011. In view of continuous poor trading conditions and replacing its current service set up, effective from mid January 2012 Hamburg Süd and MSC will restructure their services between the Mediterranean and South America East Coast. The two currently separate services will be fused into one common service that will be operated by eight vessels of 5,900 TEU nominal capacity. Of those, Hamburg Süd is to provide initially one vessel and MSC seven vessels.
The new port rotation will be as follows: Valencia – Gioia Tauro – Livorno – Genoa – Fos – Barcelona – Valencia – Suape – Rio de Janeiro – Santos – Buenos Aires – Montevideo –Rio Grande – Navegantes – Itapoá – Santos – Rio de Janeiro – Suape – Tangier – Valencia.
The new service allows for more comprehensive port coverage in South America and connects to the Hamburg Süd network to Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East destinations via the hub port Tangier.