Ocean carriers Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) have completed their merger, which was first announced in April 2016. The combined company is now the fifth-largest ocean carrier, with a fleet of 230 vessels and capacity of 1.6 million TEU.
Hapag-Lloyd will now embark on an eight-week plan to integrate operations, and expects to function as a single network by the end of the third quarter. A significant integration will involve moving UASC's container traffic to Hapag-Lloyd's information technology platform. The company's headquarters will remain in Hamburg, Germany, and a new regional headquarters will also be set up in the Middle East.
With an average vessel capacity of 6,840 TEU and 32 mega ships above 15,000 TEU, Hapag-Lloyd does not expect to make any significant investments in new vessels in the near future. The company's vessel capacity is around 30 percent higher than the average capacity of the top 15 carriers, according to the Journal of Commerce.
Reuters reports that a number of Gulf state funds, including the Qatar Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, have become key shareholders with a combined 28 percent of Hapag-Lloyd's shares.