Maersk and MSC to discontinue 2M alliance in 2025

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MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Maersk have mutually agreed to terminate, effective in January 2025, the present 2M alliance, the companies have announced in a joint press release.

Maersk and MSC to discontinue 2M alliance in 2025
Photo credit @ Bari Bookout/ Wikimedia Commons
“MSC and Maersk recognize that much has changed since the two companies signed the 10-year agreement in 2015. Discontinuing the 2M alliance paves the way for both companies to continue to pursue their individual strategies,” commented CEO Vincent Clerc of A. P. Moller – Maersk, and CEO Soren Toft of MSC. “We have very much appreciated the partnership and look forward to a continued strong collaboration throughout the remainder of the agreement period. We remain fully committed to delivering on the 2M alliance’s services to customers of MSC and Maersk.”

Today’s announcement has no immediate impact on the services provided to customers using the 2M trades, the companies added reassuring customers that each company’s teams will communicate with their respective clients to support during, and beyond, the phase-out of the 2M alliance.

2M is a container shipping line vessel sharing agreement (VSA) which was introduced in 2015 by Maersk and MSC with the aim of ensuring competitive and cost-efficient operations on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trades.

The 2M agreement has had a minimum term of 10 years with a 2-year notice period of termination.

Shipping expert Lar Jensen, known for his regular analysis on all things sea freight, also offered his thoughts on the announcement earlier today.

Writing on LinkedIn, the Vespucci Maritime CEO said:

“My view is that this is only the beginning of a re-shaping of the alliance/VSA constellations on especially the major east-west trades. This will change the competitive dynamics on the major east-west trades for all major carriers, and clearly all carriers will take a close look at which threats and opportunities this will bring forth. In essence this should be seen as the first domino of many to fall over the next 1-2 years. Even if 2M formally runs until January 2025 it should be expected that Maersk’s and MSC’s networks on the alliance trades will begin to deviate even more in 2023 through different VSA and slot charter agreements.”

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