• Ocean alliances are cooperative groups of carriers. The carriers commit to vessel-sharing agreements in order to help cover as much of the ocean shipping market as possible.
  • Within each alliance, carriers pool together their fleets of container ships. This gives each carrier access to not just their own vessels, but the vessels owned or chartered by every other carrier in the alliance. It also means carriers may move containers on one another’s behalf.
  • These vessel-sharing agreements are the foundation of each alliance, and they allow carriers within an alliance to extend their service offerings and geographic coverage.
  • The major alliances still serve most of global trade, but since 2020, with constraints on capacity, nearly every new service has been launched outside traditional alliance-related vessel-sharing—even though they’ve been launched largely by alliance members.

Ocean Alliances

Vessel sharing between carriers

  • 2M Alliances : MSC, MAERKS LINE
  • Ocean Alliance : COSCO, CMA, OOCL, EMC
  • The Alliance : YML, HPL, ONE, HMM


2025 will be the biggest shake up of the global carrier format in almost a decade, and as things stand the lineups are expected to look something like the below.
  • MSC operating independently.
  • Maersk & Hapag Lloyd working in the Gemini Cooperation.
  • CMA CGM, Cosco, OOCL and Evergreen remain as The Ocean Alliance.
  • ONE, Yang Ming and HMM remaining as THE Alliance (THEA).