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A tumultuous year in the container-shipping industry, which included one big operator going under and others bundling together to stay afloat, ended with three major alliances poised to dominate ocean trade for years to come. Container shipping, which moves 95% of all manufactured goods, is estimated by industry executives to be worth $1 trillion a year. But over capacity and sluggish global trade have forced the biggest players to merge or form alliances, allowing them to cut costs by hundreds of millions of dollars by sharing ships and port calls (Wall Street Journal, 1/4) .

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