Shippers warn over P3 shipping alliance plans

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The Global Shippers’ Forum has raised concerns over a proposed alliance between Maersk Line, CMA-CGM, and Mediterranean Shipping Company, saying the idea requires careful scrutiny.

It has issued a series of questions regarding the P3 Global Alliance to the US Federal Maritime Commission, in response to a notice of 19 November 2013 accepting further public comment on the potential agreement.
“The P3 Network Vessel Sharing Agreement is unprecedented in its scale and scope, many of the provisions of which are open-ended according to the agreement filed with the FMC,” said GSF secretary general Chris Welsh.
“In the view of the GSF this may affect the commerce of the United States in its import and export trades.
“We believe the agreement warrants very careful scrutiny, and sincerely hope that the questions we have posed will assist FMC staff and commissioners in its evaluation of the P3 Agreement.”

The three lines proposing the alliance argue that customers will benefit from more weekly sailings.

The P3 Network would based on existing capacities of each member, initially operate a capacity of 2.6 million TEU (255 vessels).

Maersk would contribute with some 42 per cent of the capacity (including the new Triple-E ships), of about 1.1 million TEU. Maersk would continue to offer the Daily Maersk product to those customers requesting it.

MSC would contribute with approximately 34 per cent of the capacity, of about 0.9 million TEU of capacity.

CMA CGM would contribute with approximately 24 per cent of the capacity equalling 0.6 million TEU.

While the P3 Network vessels will be operated independently by a joint vessel operating centre, the three lines will continue to have fully independent sales, marketing and customer service functions.

In October, the Global Shippers’ Forum raised its concerns over the proposed P3 Global Alliance with detailed questions to the European Commission Competition Directorate in Brussels.

*The European Shippers’ Council has announced plans to work with the Asian Shippers’ Meeting, to address a number of international industry issues, which impact both the shippers and the economy.

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