Hanjin’s bankruptcy was an eye-opener to many as well as a barometer of the health, or lack thereof, of the liner industry. After years of red ink, ocean carriers are realigning their organizations, buying out competitors or merging with other container lines.
2015 brought us the mergers of Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV as well as Hamburg-Sud and CCNI.
In September 2016, Maersk announced it was reorganizing its business units to better align with their respective functions. Transportation and Logistics in one division and Energy in another.
Earlier this year, we saw COSCO merge with China Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd with United Arab and the CMA-CGM buyout of APL.
Just yesterday, the Japanese contingent entered the fray. NYK, MOL and K-Line announced plans to merge their container businesses. They plan to establish a joint venture company July 1, 2017 and begin operations of the combined company on April 1, 2018.
Our guess…these changes are not going to be the last we see.