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2M Alliance split highlighted with Maersk idling more ships

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SINGAPORE : Maersk Line continues to lose ground to MSC with the highest number of ships idled at the moment while MSC is still taking on fresh charters and second-hand acquisitions, as the Swiss-Italian carrier continues to launch new services.

Linerlytica’s report this week stated that there are now 131 idle ships, and Maersk Line has the largest number of ships idle, with 32 unemployed vessels, compared with nine for market leader MSC.

Otherwise, despite the correction in the freight market, more ships are being employed as operators, including MSC, reintroducing services or adjusting existing services.

Linerlytica noted, “The active fleet has resumed its upward trajectory, with a steady stream of new ship deliveries that continue to outpace ships removed through scrapping.”

There are now 17.65 million TEU of active ships, accounting for 67% of the total fleet.

Among the 131 unemployed ships, 55 are larger than 5,000 TEU.

This month, MSC is bringing back its “Dragon” Asia-Mediterranean service that was pulled in mid-2020 due to falling cargo volumes amid the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Eight ships, with an average of 5,800 TEU, will be deployed.

While the previous Dragon loop had a dozen 14,000 TEU ships and was jointly operated by MSC and Maersk under the 2M alliance, the reinstated service will be solely operated by MSC, as both lines prepare to separate come 2025.

Linerlytica stated, “MSC’s launch of the Dragon service to the Med in mid-March will exert downward pressure on rates on the route, with the continued influx of new ULCS capacity from March for both OCEAN and THE Alliance adding further pressure.”

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