2M ends - in predisposed obedience?
Maersk has published a press release saying that the alliance 2M is set to end in January 2025, speaking of "a thorough evaluation process" and a mutual agreement with its partner MSC. Besides wishing to minimise possible disruptions caused by the termination of the alliance in 2025, no further comment was given. MSC did not comment the step in an official statement until the end of the editorial deadline.
While the temporary partnerships of 2M with HMM and SM Line have already ended, the partial cooperation with the carrier ZIM in some regions was not mentioned.
The end of the 2M alliance will also affect the other two alliances on the seas, certainly opening a new chapter in a hitherto oligopoly in the maritime container market.
Further speculation concerns a change of the authorities' policies in America, Europe and Asia with regards to the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER), which grants carriers exemptions from antitrust bindings.
The respective EU regulation, which was first enacted in 2009, and extended in 2014 and 2020, is currently due to expire on 25 April 2024. (cd)