Maersk is collaborating with Hapag-Lloyd on a long-term operational partnership called Gemini Cooperation, which it said will offer a more connected and reliable ocean service in the face of supply chain disruption, currently seen with restrictions to traffic through Suez and Panama canals.
Together the maritime logistics giants aim to combine fleet operations to establish a global network with a more dependable schedule and better transit times, as well as a reduced carbon footprint. The companies will implement the network at the beginning of February 2025.
Maersk said the Gemini Cooperation will comprise a fleet pool of around 290 vessels with a combined capacity of 3.4m TEUs. Maersk will deploy 60% of the fleet and Hapag-Lloyd 40%. According to the partners, Gemini aims to deliver schedule reliability above 90% once the network is fully implemented. The two companies want to improve service quality and transit times on port-to-port corridors, as well as providing access to some of the world’s best connected ocean hubs.
“We are pleased to enter this cooperation with Hapag-Lloyd, which is the ideal ocean partner on our strategic journey,” said Vincent Clerc, CEO of Maersk. “By entering this cooperation, we will be offering our customers a flexible ocean network that will be raising the bar for reliability in the industry. This will strengthen our integrated logistics offering and meet our customers’ needs.”
Operating on seven global trade lanes, the Gemini Cooperation will provide 26 mainline services complemented by a global network of dedicated shuttles centred around owned and controlled transhipment hubs (see box). The shuttle services will offer a fast connection with flexible capacity between hubs and ports served by shuttle services, and vice versa, according to the partners.
Maersk also said that the new network will also help bolster its integrator strategy, allowing customers the flexibility to choose other transport modes, including road, rail, barge or air, in addition to the ocean transport options.
“Teaming up with Maersk will help us to further boost the quality we deliver to our customers,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd. “Additionally, we will benefit from efficiency gains in our operations and joint efforts to further accelerate the decarbonisation of our industry.”
Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd said they will plan the transition from their current alliances to the new operational cooperation. At the same time, services to customers will continue along existing agreements.
The Gemini Cooperation means Hapag-Lloyd ends its existing partnership in THE Alliance at the end of January 2025. In January 2023, Maersk and MSC announced that their own 2M alliance will end in January 2025.
The news follows the announcement in November last year that Maersk had sold its remaining 10.5% stake in Höegh Autoliners.