Scrambling to Serve East-West Cargo Water Routes

After A.P. Moller-Maersk took control of Royal P&O Nedlloyd N.V., it served notice that on or about February 12, 2006, it would withdraw from the Grand Alliance that includes Hapag-Lloyd Container Line (HLCL), Malaysia International Shipping Corp. (MISC), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL). All have agreed to work together to create an easy transition for shippers in 2006.

In order to fill the void left in P&O Nedlloyd’s wake, new vessels from those still in the Alliance will enter service to meet present and projected capacity and service requirements. In all, some 112 vessels will ply the three major East-West trade lanes. They are capable of moving 640,000 TEUs of cargo, an increase of 14% aimed at fulfilling 2006’s anticipated trade growth.

For their parts, until February 2006, P&O Nedlloyd and Maersk Sealand -- a division of the A. P. Moller-Maersk group – will continue to operate as separate shipping lines. Integration of all services between the two companies is expected to be completed by Summer 2006 at which time they will operate as Maersk Line. When finally combined, logistics operations of the two companies will run under the Maersk Logistics banner.

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