COPENHAGEN, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Denmark's Maersk Line, the world's biggest container-shipping company by volume, announced Thursday a new strategic cooperation with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and ZIM Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM) on the Asia-U.S. East Coast trade.
As of early September 2018, Maersk and MSC will contribute four of their operated loops to a combined operation of five loops with ZIM between Asia end the U.S. East Coast. ZIM will operate one loop, Maersk Line said in a statement.
The parties will swap slots on all five loops of the new cooperation, it added.
Maersk Line said the cooperation will generate cost efficiencies and provide new opportunities for customers who get access to an improved product on the Asia-USEC trade, including a new direct product from the U.S. East Coast into Thailand.
"We are pleased to enter into this strategic cooperation with ZIM. We will improve our combined product portfolio between Asia and the U.S. East Coast and deliver on our promise to customers while creating the needed operational efficiencies for us to run a sustainable business on the trade also in the future," says Soeren Toft, Chief Operating Officer of Maersk Line, in the statement.
According to Maersk, the cooperation is subject to regulatory approval and is scheduled to begin in early September 2018.
Currently Maersk Line and MSC operate five loops and ZIM operates two loops on the trade.
The initial term of the cooperation is four years with an option to extend it to seven years in total.
Maersk Line currently employs 37,900 employees worldwide and operates 786 container vessels.
Founded in 1970, MSC is a global leader in transportation and logistics. Its shipping line sails on more than 200 trade routes, calling at over 500 ports.
ZIM is the biggest cargo shipping company in Israel and one of the top 20 global carriers.