The agreement was subject to approval by relevant authorities. Today, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that it will allow the VSA to come into effect.
The U.S. was the only remaining jurisdiction where the VSA had to obtain approval. Maersk Line and MSC can now implement the VSA as planned.
"We are very pleased that the FMC has decided to allow our VSA with MSC to become effective. In our view, this is a win-win situation. Due to a larger and more cost efficient network, we can continue to provide our customers in North America, Europe and Asia competitive and reliable container shipping services. We look forward to starting operations on our new East/West network in January 2015.” says Vincent Clerc, Chief Trade and Marketing Officer, Maersk Line.
In the new East/West network, Maersk Line offers customers more services and ports: 21 strings (vs. 18 today), 1,036 port pairs (vs. 788 today) and 291 ports called (vs. 212 today).
The VSA will also result in cost savings through the deployment of larger and more efficient vessels and improved utilisation. In addition, we will be able to lower our CO2 emissions.
In total, the VSA has an estimated capacity of 2.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) or approximately 185 vessels. Maersk Line will contribute around 55 % of the total capacity.
• Maersk stock exchange announcement: http://investor.maersk.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=875415
• Schedules announced for new East-West Network: http://www.maerskline.com/int/news/news-articles/2014/09/east-west-network