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June 12, 2017 8:50 AM, EDT

Three Japanese Freight Carriers to Form Alliance

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg News

Japanese ocean carriers Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. have announced an alliance, effective in 2018.

The three steamship lines rank Nos. 13, 14 and 18 respectively on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of the largest global freight carriers.

The Ocean Network Express is the latest shakeup among the world’s largest ocean freight carriers after several alliances began April 1. They permit steamship lines to place containers on a ship of any other member as part of a larger effort to reduce overcapacity in the industry.

“The move will allow Ocean Network Express to better meet customers’ needs by providing high-quality, competitive services through the consolidation and enhancement of the three companies’ global network and service structures,” K-Line wrote in a statement.

The joint venture will have regional offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Richmond, Va., and Brazil.

The Ocean Network Express will provide service in 90 countries with a fleet size of 1.4 million industry-standard 20-foot equivalent unit capacity, according to a new website set up for the venture.