Three new carrier groups now control 58% of the total capacity in the transatlantic container trade, according to World Liner Supply, a new quarterly report from the compairdata.com on-line shipping database.
The fourth quarter 2000 issue of World Liner Supply shows that the merger of services and the combination of smaller carrier groups has led to a substantially higher market concentration in the North America/northern Europe container trade.
In July, the three largest groups of transatlantic carriers (Grand Alliance, Maersk Sealand and Canada Maritime/Cast/OOCL) controlled 44% of the total trade capacity. As of this month, the three biggest carrier groups (Grand Alliance/Lykes/TMM, Maersk Sealand/New World Alliance and Canada Maritime/Cast/OOCL) control 58% of vessel capacity on the transatlantic route, World Liner Supply reported (see table overleaf).
The Grand Alliance, which consists of Hapag-Lloyd, NYK Line, Orient Overseas Container Line and P&O Nedlloyd, has merged its services with those of CP Ships-owned carriers Lykes Lines and TMM Lines. Similarly, Maersk Sealand and New World Alliance carriers APL, Hyundai and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines combined their transatlantic services this month.
"Because Canada Maritime and Cast are sister companies of Lykes and TMM within
CP Ships, while OOCL is affiliated with the Grand Alliance, those carriers are effectively involved in two of the three largest transatlantic carrier groups," said Hayes H. Howard, President of compairdata.com.
Shipping lines in the transatlantic trade now offer shippers 25 joint and/or individual liner services with a total of 136 liner vessels, the report said.
The total westbound capacity, as of this month, was calculated to be about 60,000 TEUs a week, or 3.1 million TEUs a year.
World Liner Supply's quarterly reports calculate up-to-date ship capacity of each alliance, carrier, service and trade route on the major trade lanes.
"We will measure, every quarter, whether larger alliances or mergers between carriers lead to a further concentration of vessel capacity in the Atlantic and other trades," said Mr. Howard.
The 1st quarter 2001 issue of World Liner Supply's quarterly reports will be released in January 2001.