Wednesday 28th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

Chinese say no to container shipping agreement

Shipping lines Maersk, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and CMA CGM have abandoned plans for their vessel sharing agreement, P3, following rejection of the proposal by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).

P3 was scheduled to start operations in the autumn of 2014.  On 24 March, the US Federal Maritime Commission decided to allow the P3 Network agreement to become effective in the US, and on 3 June, the European Commission closed its file on the plan after deciding not to open an antitrust investigation.

MOFCOM’s decision follows a review under China’s merger control rules.

Diego Aponte, Vice President of MSC said:  “We are disappointed by the decision of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce  but will continue our efforts to operate more efficiently and provide our clients with a comprehensive and excellent service.”

And Maersk Group CEO Nils Andersen said: “The decision does come as a surprise to us, of course, as the partners have worked hard to address all the regulators’ concerns. The P3 alliance would have enabled Maersk Line to make further reductions in cost and CO2 emissions and not least improve its services to its customers with a more efficient vessel network.

“Nevertheless, I’m quite confident Maersk Line will accomplish those improvements anyway. It has delivered on those improvements over the last five quarters in the absence of P3 and I’m confident it will continue to do so.”

The group said the lack of implementation of the P3 Network would have no material impact on its expected result for 2014.