Alliances allow carriers to extend their service offerings and geographic coverage by allowing vessels from one alliance member to be used by other members. It also allows for better utilization of the vessel, which means filling more capacity on it—which reduces costs.
The main alliances are 2M, Ocean Alliance, and THE Alliance. However, in late January 2023, MSC and Maersk announced they have mutually agreed to discontinue the 2M alliance, set to end in January 2025.
2M includes Maersk, MSC and Zim.
Ocean Alliance includes COSCO, OOCL (purchased by Cosco), Evergreen and CMA.
THE Alliance includes Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, HMM, and YML.