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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Shipping lines meet to create alliance
Yang Ming Line container ship
Closer cooperation between the companies could build the alliance
Shipping companies from five nations have held talks in Shanghai with the aim to create the world's second largest shipping alliance.

Allied shipping companies:
Kawasaki Kisen of Japan
Cosco Container Lines of China
Yang Ming Marine Transport of Taiwan
Senator Lines of Germany
Hanjin Shipping of South Korea
"[The shipping lines] aim to discuss ways to rationalise so-called east-west routes; lines connecting [Asia] to North America or to Europe," said the planning team manager Yukikazu Myochin of the Kawasaki container business group, a subsidiary of one of the shippers taking part.

The cooperation would initially focus mainly on container transport and it would involve the "optimisation of each carrier's assets [and the] rationalisation of their services on a global basis", the shipping companies from Germany, Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea said in a joint statement.

This should improve transit time and frequency and create more comprehensive port coverage, they said.

Irreversible cooperation

"The only way to provide best service to customers in the container shipping industry is to strengthen the cooperation tie among the lines," the shipping companies said in the statement, describing cooperation in the industry as "irreversible.

"[We will] study any feasible measure and accelerate the process of cooperation with an ultimate goal of establishing an alliance," the companies said.

The companies include Kawasaki Kisen of Japan, Cosco Container Lines of China, Yang Ming Marine Transport of Taiwan, Hanjin Shipping of South Korea and Senator Lines of Germany.

An alliance between the companies would be the world's second largest after the Grand Alliance of Nippon Yusen of Japan and Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Berhad of Malaysia, an official said.

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