Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) have started redelivering a series of large containerships to Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).

Nine vessels of between 10,000-teu to 13,000-teu will be returned to the South Korean carrier ahead of the expiration on 31 March of a three-year cooperation between the three liner operators, according to Alphaliner.

The neopanamax vessels will be redeployed in the services of THE Alliance, the rival alliance which HMM will join on 1 April.

They will be joined by a dozen newbuildings that HMM will deploy in the services of THE Alliance, which includes Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd, Japan’s Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Taiwan’s Yang Ming.