The Chief Operating Officer of A.P. Moller – Maersk, Séren Toft, made a more prosaic assessment: “After successfully implementing our strategic cooperation, we are very pleased to extend the partnership with ZIM to other regions. This agreement offers reciprocal benefits to both parties, as Maersk offers operational efficiency that allows our continuous engine to provide competitive and reliable products to our customers in the world`s most comprehensive East-West network. Zim President and General Manager Eli Glickman said the new agreement with 2M would see Zim four ships and three 2M ships operate on the TP9/Maple loop in Seattle and Vancouver, and slots on the TP8/Orient channel in Prince Rupert, as well as access to slots on Maersk and MSC`s Asia-Mediterranean services. The new cooperation follows previous agreements in Asia-East Coast of the United States, in service since September 2018, and in Asia-Pacific-Northwest and Asia-Mediterranean trade, which have been in operation since March 2019. Maersk Line and MSC`s “new strategic operational cooperation” with Zim follows the U.S. East Coast Ship Sharing Agreement, which began in September. “We are very proud to work with the two largest players in the sector and to develop our cooperation with the 2M Alliance. The new strategic agreement means faster and more efficient service, with better geographic coverage and extensive direct calls for our customers, in line with our vision to provide quality service.
We will greatly increase our ability to offer the best of both worlds: high-level online coverage combined with our outstanding customer service and personal rating. The agreement is a disruptive factor and I am confident that it will support the growth and profitability of ZIM. In order to obtain the agreement reached with the South Korean airline by the U.S. Federal Commission (FMC), Maersk and MSC had to agree that 2M cargo would only be loaded onto HMM vessels “with the explicit consent of customers.” In an agreement that will increase capacity on trans-Pacific channels (TP), TP8 and TP9, by about 500 equivalent units (TEUs). The TP8 service is operated by four Zim vessels and three 2M vessels, while the TP9 will have only 2M vessels on the rotation. Two other routes between Asia and the Mediterranean are included in the agreement, but no further capacity increases are expected on these lines.