China COSCO Shipping, the result of a merger in February between the country's top two state-owned shippers, is in talks with CMA CGM and several other major operators to create a new shipping alliance, say reports in local media.
Wang Haimin, China Cosco’s deputy general manager reportedly said: “We are having further discussions with some related carriers. Generally speaking, we want more scale.”
He did not specify which carriers were involved, only noting that the new partnership was expected to serve China Cosco’s strategy to be “truly globalised” by expanding its fleet presence beyond current East-West trades to South-North and non-China related lanes.
Meanwhile, Nikkei reports that China COSCO is rushing to streamline operations in line with President Xi Jinping's plan to build a new maritime economic corridor.
It plans to shed some of the group's 118,000 or so employees, and the core listed subsidiary, China COSCO Holdings
, plans to scrap more aging vessels.
China COSCO Shipping, was formed by the merger between China Ocean Shipping (Group), originally the country's first shipping company, established in 1961, and China Shipping (Group), set up in 1997.
The new company owns the world's largest shipping fleet, of about 1,100 vessels, and operates over 46 ports around the world, including in Greece and Belgium
. It has the world's fourth-largest shipping capacity of 1.5 million TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units. It has assets of 610 billion yuan.