The Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) has officially requested the European Commission (EC) to investigate whether the proposed P3 global alliance between Maersk Line, CMA CGM, and Mediterranean Shipping Company could upend market competition.
The GSF in a statement said it has raised its concerns over the proposed P3 alliance by submitting detailed questions to the EC Competition Directorate in Brussels, Belgium, requesting for the “essential features and details of the P3 Global Alliance in order that the GSF will be in a position to complete its own legal analysis of the proposed agreement.”
It explained that a more in-depth assessment is needed for the forum to comment on the competition law and market impact issues that may arise from the proposed alliance.
“In particular, the GSF has asked for confirmation from the European Commission competition authorities that it has commenced a formal investigation,” it added.
“The question on every shipper’s mind is ‘what will be the impact on my rates and the quality of services?’’’ said GSF secretary general Chris Welsh.
He added that the proposed P3 alliance is an industry “game-changer” that will fundamentally change the structure and competitive state of the global container shipping market.
“Shippers are rightly worried about the potential of the P3 to eliminate effective competition in the world’s main liner trades,” he pointed out. “We need information and answers so that the GSF is in the position to protect the commercial interests of shippers internationally.”
Welsh added: “GSF members are equally focused on expected future inquiries of other national competition authorities with competency and regulatory oversight of maritime transport sector, especially in Asia and in the United States where the Federal Maritime Commission is uniquely positioned to assess the potential competitive impacts of this never-before-seen aggregation of market share.”
Photo: Maersk Line