French maritime shipping giant CMA CGM said Tuesday it was extending the sector's biggest operational alliance with Chinese group Cosco Shipping, Taiwan's Evergreen and Hong Kong-based OOCL until 2032.

CMA CGM, the world's third biggest shipping company, said in a statement that the Ocean Alliance, in place since 2017, enables its members to provide fast transit times and a broad range of ports.

The partnership covers the seven main East-West routes linking Asia with northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the coasts of North America.

The current agreement was due to end in 2027.

"The decision to extend our cooperation for at least five more years underlines our commitment to meeting the needs of our customers and building even more secure, reliable and sustainable supply chains," CMA CGM chief executive Rodolphe Saade said.

In January, Danish group Maersk, the sector's second biggest company, and Germany's Hapag-Lloyd announced a cooperation agreement that will comprise a fleet pool of nearly 300 vessels with a combined capacity of 3.4 million containers.

The partnership will start in February 2025, a month after Maersk's alliance with the sector's biggest player, the Italo-Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company, ends.