Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk Consort to Boost Sustainable Shipping

In a landmark agreement, Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk have entered into a long-term collaboration, unveiling their ambitious Gemini Cooperation aimed at enhancing the reliability and sustainability of container shipping. The partnership, set to commence in February 2025, envisions the transportation of a combined 3.4 million containers (TEU) via 290 vessels.

Central to their vision is achieving a schedule reliability of over 90%, a significant leap from the current industry average that dipped from 68.5% in January 2020 to 30.4% in January 2022, as reported by Statista.

Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, emphasized the efficiency gains in operations and joint efforts to accelerate industry-wide decarbonization. Vincent Clerc, Maersk’s counterpart, highlighted the deal’s role in strengthening integrated logistics offerings and ensuring more reliable services.

The collaborative effort involves a shared pool of 290 vessels, with Maersk deploying 60% and Hapag-Lloyd 40%. Notably, Hapag-Lloyd’s departure from THE Alliance, shared with Ocean Network Express, YangMing, and South Korean HHM, is a consequence of this strategic alliance.

This move is not influenced by operational responses to attacks in the Red Sea but rather aligns with their commitment to delivering efficient and sustainable shipping solutions. The companies have expressed confidence in regulatory approvals, expecting the filing process to conclude by the third quarter.

Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk have both declared ambitious decarbonization strategies, with Maersk targeting net-zero operations by 2040 and Hapag-Lloyd aiming for the same by 2045. The structure of the Gemini Cooperation is designed to be more open than traditional alliances, allowing each company to execute its strategy independently.

While the alliance promises significant benefits for the companies involved, concerns have been raised by Michael Kruse, a member of the federal parliament in Berlin, suggesting potential impacts on traffic around European ports. This collaborative effort comes at a critical time when the shipping industry is navigating challenges exacerbated by the global supply chain disruptions triggered by the COVID-19 crisis.