The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA), a research and discussion group of container shipping lines serving the trade from Asia to the US, will add a second new carrier to its membership this year. Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC), based in Geneva, Switzerland, has announced that it will join TSA effective sometime in mid-May, once a 45-day filing notification period with the US Federal Maritime Commission has concluded.

MSC is the world’s second largest container line, operating 326 ships with a combined ship capacity of 1.06 million 20-foot containers (teu). It offers three scheduled transpacific service strings, with additional intra-Asia feeder services.

‘We’re very pleased to have MSC become a part of TSA,’ said Agreement chairman Ron Widdows, who is also president and chief executive officer of American President Lines, Ltd. ‘They are a formidable global competitor, with a sizable and growing stake in the transpacific market. We look forward to their participation as TSA continues its efforts to bring improved visibility to market, operational and cost information, and to engage customers on service and pricing issues as well as the broader dynamics affecting the Asia-US cargo market.’