Tuesday, October 29, 2013

FMC Chair Calls for P3 Alliance
Regulatory Summit

US Federal Maritime Commission Chair Mario Cordero has issued a call to fellow regulators in Europe and China to join with him for a global regulatory summit on the proposed P3 Global Alliance of the world’s largest container carriers, Maersk Line, CMA-CGM and Mediterranean Shipping.

The three carriers announced in June that they would begin cooperating in 2014 on routes covering Asia to Europe as well as transpacific and transatlantic routes to the United States.

Early estimates by Maersk Line’s chief trading and marketing officer put market control of such an alliance at about 42 percent on the Asia to Europe route, 24 percent on the transpacific routes, and 40 to 42 percent on the transatlantic route.

The summit, Cordero said, should take place in Washington, DC, with regulators to discuss their respective regulatory roles in considering the impact of the announced Alliance.

Indications are that the P3 network will be operated from new management offices in London and Singapore with a staff of about 200. The proposed Alliance has already named Maersk Line’s Lars Mikel Jensen as its Chief Executive Officer.

“Together with our European and Chinese counterparts, we as regulatory authorities, have responsibilities related not only to our nations, but to the global shipping structure to ensure that this proposed Alliance does not harm others, including consumers, the maritime community, and world trade,” Cordero, a former Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, said. “Once this agreement is filed, I envision all members of our American maritime industry – shippers, importers, exporters, consumers, ports, unions, intermodal entities – to fully express their views to the Commission in written comments or open hearings as to how this Alliance of foreign flag carriers would affect our waterborne commerce.”

Among the various concerns Cordero and other members of the Federal Maritime Commission have expressed about the proposed alliance are a reported vessel reduction once the proposed alliance is consummated; and a lack of significant filing with regulatory authorities in Europe, China or the US.