Friday, May 23, 2014

P3 Alliance Launch Delayed Until Fall

By Mark Edward Nero

The launch of an alliance between the world’s three largest container companies has been delayed from mid-year to sometime in the fall, the companies said May 21.

The P3 Alliance, made up of shipping giants CMA CGM, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co., was announced in June 2013 as a long-term operational vessel sharing agreement on routes covering Asia to Europe as well as transpacific and transatlantic routes to the United States, with an overall aim of making container liner shipping more efficient and improving service quality for the shippers.

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.

Maersk Line has estimated that after the alliance is put into place, market control would be 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 US Federal Maritime Commission, after holding a summit last December with its European and Chinese counterparts, approved allowing the agreement to become effective in the US However, the coalition still faces questions from maritime authorities in Asia and Europe, which is being cited as a partial cause for the delay of the alliance’s launch.

Among the various concerns the Federal Maritime Commission and other regulatory bodies have expressed about the proposed alliance are a reported vessel reduction if alliance is consummated.