Maersk Line, the container division of the Danish shipping and oil company A.P. Moller-Maersk, has signed a long-term Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trades, the company announced Thursday.
The agreement, which includes 185 vessels deployed on 21 routes, is expected to improve network efficiency and allows for lower unit costs through better utilization of vessel capacity and economies of scale, Maersk said in a statement.
Maersk Line will contribute with approximately 110 vessels, which amount to about 55 percent of the total capacity of 2.1 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU), it added.
Besides the execution of their own operations such as stowage and voyage planning, each company will continue to have fully independent sales, pricing, marketing and customer service functions.
"We have to be innovative and take out cost, while keeping a product that is best in class for our customers in terms of coverage, frequency and reliability," said Soeren Skou, the CEO of Maersk Line.
"Our agreement with MSC is a step towards achieving all of these objectives in the East-West trades," he added.
The cooperation is expected to start early 2015 with a duration of 10 years.
The new agreement is however subject to approvals from relevant authorities, according to Maersk.