Norfolk –The realignment of a transatlantic vessel-sharing alliance that currently accounts for more than one-third of the container business at The Port of Virginia will bring significant opportunities to develop news business for the port.
On Feb. 20, the G6 Alliance, a vessel-sharing consortium composed of six ocean carriers, announced changes to its transatlantic services that connect the Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia trade lanes with the US East Coast. In its announcement, the G6 partners said four-out-of-the-five realigned services will call The Port of Virginia.
Two of those services will be last-out vessel calls, meaning Virginia will be their last US East Coast stop before heading to their foreign destinations; last-out calls can be crucial in developing export business.
"These last-out calls will be of interest to export customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest because The Port of Virginia will be able offer some of the best transit times to Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia," said John F. Reinhart, The Port of Virginia's CEO and executive director, said. "For those customers with just-in-time inventory models, transit times are crucial. It is our opinion that these last-out vessel calls will create opportunities for customers that have not been able to use Virginia in the past simply because of their business models."
This realignment will allow the ocean carriers to take advantage of Virginia's deep channels and optimize their vessels buy loading them to their limit with exports. "This is a very good opportunity for the G6 to expand its market share in Virginia and the ripple effect is beneficial to the region and to the Commonwealth," Reinhart said.
The G6 Alliance accounts for 37 percent of the business at the port. Presently, the port has three first-in vessel calls, which benefit importers, and six last-out calls, not including this most recent announcement.
The realigned services will begin operating in April.
The G6 carriers are Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, MOL, NYK, APL and OOCL. The G6 Alliance was formed in late 2011 through a merger of the smaller Grand Alliance (Hapag-Lloyd, NYK and OOCL) and New World Alliance (APL, Hyundai, and MOL); it began operation in March 2012 in the Asia – Europe and Mediterranean trade lanes.