COSCO may make a bid of more than $4 billion for Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line, according to various media reports.
The deployment of ultra-large containerships has not only increased average vessel size on key east west trades, but has accelerated the consolidation of carriers into vessel sharing agreements and alliances.
The container freight market is strengthening as carriers begin some 2017 negotiations, and Drewry said some shippers could see contract rates rise 20-40 percent in worst case scenarios.
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Global trade in 2016 was sluggish, as import volumes and global container throughput dipped, but the negligible dip in global trade was accompanied by radical shifts in freight pricing.
Danish ocean carrier Maersk Line said the acquisition of Hamburg Süd would boost its share of the world container fleet from 15.7 percent to 18.6 percent, and increase its capacity from 3.14 million TEUs to 3.76 million TEUs.
The A.P. Møller-Maersk conglomerate, which includes Maersk Line, APM Terminals, and energy related divisions like Maersk Oil, reported an underlying profit of $426 million in the third quarter of 2016, a 35.6 percent decline from third quarter 2015.