According to recent trends in the container shipping business, the leading seven carriers will soon control 80 percent of the active container shipping fleet once OOCL becomes part of Cosco Shipping and the three Japanese lines bring their container divisions together under Ocean Network Express. Drewry, a U.K. based shipping analyst, said there is a lot more potential for mergers and acquisitions in the shipping industry, though major carriers are unlikely to be interested in the smaller ones. “The industry is heading towards a scenario whereby a small handful of dominant carriers dictate matters, but there is still healthy competition in most trades for now,” Drewry said in its Container Insight Weekly.

Shipping analyst SeaIntel however, believes that smaller, niche carriers are being affected by the consolidation and capacity injection by the alliances and are rapidly losing ground. The analyst found that niche carriers are coming under increased competitive pressure as they are marginalized.

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