Agreements. This allows each to continue service, but with less vessels.
This is what transpired in the 1990's, before there were a bunch of container carriers who finally went bust.
Below is the press release from Hamburg-Sud. There are 5 companies joining together. Hamburg Süd, Maersk, CMA-CGM, CSAV, and CSCL (China Shipping). There is no mention of MSC, who just announced a huge agreement with CMA CGM, so not sure if they will get slots on this service or not.
Dec. 8, 2011
Asia – South Africa/South America East Coast
Hamburg Süd/Maersk Line and CMA-CGM/CSAV/CSCL
Winter Season Restructuring
Hamburg, 8 December 20011. In an effort to balance supply and demand during the forthcoming traditional period of weaker demand, Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line on the one hand and CMA-CGM, CSAV and CSCL on the other, have reached an agreement to combine their services between Asia, South Africa and the East Coast of South America as from December 2011.
Each Group is currently operating two weekly services in the trade. For the period from December 2011 through May 2012, the existing ASAS/NGX Sling 2 service will be merged with the existing ASAX/SEAS Sling 2 service. The current capacity deployed by the carriers in the ASAS/NGX Sling 1 service and ASAX/SEAS Sling 1 service will remain unchanged and independent.
Consequently, the new structure will be as follows:
ASAS/NGX 1: 11 x 7,100 – 7,450 TEU vessels
Participating carriers: Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line
ASAX/SEAS 1: 11 x 6,500 TEU vessels
Participating carriers: CMA-CGM, CSAV, CSCL
New Joint Service: 11 x 4,200 – 4,600 TEU vessels
Participating Carriers: CMA-CGM, CSAV, CSCL, Hamburg Süd, and Maersk Line
Schedule: Shanghai – Ningbo – Nansha – Hong Kong – Chiwan – Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Durban – Rio de Janeiro – Santos – Paranagua – Itajai – Santos – Port Elizabeth – Durban – Singapore – Hong Kong – Shanghai
Starting vessel for this New Joint Service will be MV Cap Jackson – Shanghai – December 16th.
The above changes will ensure adequate coverage of- and competitive transit times for the Asia, South Africa and East Coast South America market, both Eastbound and Westbound.