2M alliance (Maersk and MSC) to break up

In January 2025, MSC and Maersk will part ways after 10 years of working together in the 2M alliance. MSC CEO Soren Toft and Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc announced this on the morning of Wednesday 25 January. Both CEOs said the decision was made after a thorough review process and that a lot has changed since 2015 (the year the two shipping companies signed a 10-year agreement). „This paves the way for both companies to pursue their own strategies,“ Toft and Clerc said. At this, Maersk does mention its own aspiration to become a broad logistics player. However, both CEOs do agree that they do look forward to rest of the current contract period in which the strong cooperation will still apply.

According to Maersk and MSC, the decision made will not affect services. About the phase-out, both shipping companies will contact their customers separately. The message promises to make every effort to minimise the risk of disruption. That the notice about the discontinuation comes 2 years before the end of the contract is not a surprise, in fact, in the 2015 collaboration, it was agreed that if the alliance was to be terminated, there had to be 2 years‘ notice. The alliance was launched in 2015 to provide cost-efficient and competitive services on routes from Asia America, Asia Europe and Europe America. Shipping alliances have always been criticised from the shippers‘ side. For instance, they previously lobbied the European Union to ban shipping company alliances, but as yet without success. The EU’s „Block exemption“ agreement, which ensures that it is allowed for shipping lines to enter into an alliance, is still valid until 2024. It is not yet known whether this deal will be extended by the EU.