Maersk Discontinuing 2M Alliance, Partnering with DP World

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) and Maersk A/S, a subsidiary of Danish shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk have mutually agreed to terminate their 2M shipping alliance effective January 2025, the companies announced in late January.

2M is a container shipping line vessel sharing agreement that was introduced in 2015 by Maersk and MSC with the aim of ensuring competitive and cost-efficient operations on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trades.

The agreement has a minimum term of 10 years with a two-year notice period of termination.

“MSC and Maersk recognize that much has changed since the two companies signed the 10-year agreement in 2015,” Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc and MSC CEO Soren Toft said in a joint statement. Discontinuing the 2M alliance paves the way for both companies to continue to pursue their individual strategies.”

“We have very much appreciated the partnership and look forward to a continued strong collaboration throughout the remainder of the agreement period,” the statement continued. “We remain fully committed to delivering on the 2M alliance’s services to customers of MSC and Maersk.”

The companies said that the announcement would have no immediate impact on the services provided to customers using the 2M trades.

“Each company’s customer teams will communicate with their respective clients to support during and beyond the phase-out of the 2M alliance,” they said.

In other news, Maersk announced in mid-January that it and international gateway port DP World Jebel Ali Port have entered a long-term partnership through which both parties would collaborate on various aspects of service delivery and work toward the goal of decarbonizing logistics.

In a statement, Maersk said that the long-term strategic partnership is to give priority berthing for Maersk vessels as well as support for Maersk’s customers the implementation of new processes to improve quayside productivity

These things would all lead to faster gate turnaround times at Jebel Ali Port and reduced bunker fuel consumption, the shipping company said.

Additionally, visibility tools would allow Maersk’s customers to benefit from real-time information relayed by DP World to plan their supply chains better and ultimately cut carbon emissions.

Maersk is expected to deploy two of its solutions for customers moving their cargo through Jebel Ali — Maersk Accelerate, a fast-tracking service through priority cargo handling, and Maersk Flex Hub, a cargo storage solution.

Maersk said that Jebel Ali Port is “ideally” located to serve the East-West trade corridor connecting to 150 cities globally.

“Lowering carbon emissions is a common goal for both companies and increasingly demanded by customers, who sit at the heart of every decision the companies take,” Maersk said. “The Intra Terminal Vehicles (ITVs) at Jebel Ali Port used at the terminal where Maersk vessels berth will be converted from diesel ones to electric ones leading to a reduction of around 80% carbon footprint from these vehicles alone.”

“This collaboration will help us to achieve our goal of cutting CO2 emissions by nearly 700,000 tons over the next five years,” DP World UAE Vice President Shahab Al Jassmi said. “Achieving this target alone will be challenging, but by working with reliable partners such as Maersk we can accelerate our progress and offer solutions to help our partners achieve their own sustainability goals at the same time.”

In January 2022, DP World entered a strategic partnership with the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, an independent, not-for-profit organization launched in 2020 to undertake intensive research and development to find practical ways to decarbonize the global maritime trade industry.

DP World has committed to becoming a carbon-neutral enterprise by 2040 and net zero carbon enterprise by 2050. For its part, Maersk has aimed to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 across the entire business with new technologies, vessels and fuels.

Last November, DP World Chairman and Group CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem announced plans to invest up to $500 million to cut CO2 emissions from its operations by nearly 700,000 tons over the next five years. 

The reduction in carbon emissions represents a 20% cut from 2021 levels, through electrifying assets, investing in renewable power and exploring alternative fuels.