Home » Breaking News, Maritime » Maersk Line, MSC, CMA CGM to launch alliance
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The world’s three biggest container lines are set to forge an alliance on three key trade lanes, intending to launch the tie-up by the second quarter of next year.

“Maersk Line, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. and CMA CGM have in principle agreed to establish a long-term operational alliance on East-West trades, called the P3 Network. The aim is to improve and optimise operations and service offerings,” Maersk Line said in a statement released today.

The P3 Network will operate a capacity of 2.6 million TEUs on three trade lanes: Asia-Europe, trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic.

An independent joint vessel-operating center to manage the P3 Network vessels will be formed, but the three lines will continue to have fully independent sales, marketing, and customer service functions, Maersk Line said.

Declining volume growth and over-capacity in recent years have  prompted the rise of other alliances such as G6 and CKYH to improve operations and efficiency, it added. With the P3 Network, the three lines expect to improve their efficiency through better use of vessel capacity.

“Each of the lines will offer more weekly sailings in their combined network than they do individually. As an example, the P3 Network plans to offer 8 weekly sailings between Asia and Northern Europe. In addition the P3 Network will offer more direct ports of call,” said Denmark-based Maersk Line, the world’s leading box ship.

The P3 Network is envisioned to start operations in the second quarter of 2014, following the approval of relevant competition and other regulatory authorities. The lines hope to sign the contracts creating the alliance in the fourth quarter of this year.

Maersk Line provided these additional details about the P3 Network:

• The P3 Network will be based on the existing capacities of each member and initially operate a capacity of 2.6 million TEUs (initially 255 vessels on 29 loops).

• Maersk Line will contribute about 42 percent of the capacity (including the new Triple-E ships), or about 1.1 million TEUs. Maersk Line will continue to offer the Daily Maersk service to requesting customers.

• MSC, the world’s no. 2 container liner, will contribute about 34 percent of the capacity, or about 0.9 million TEUs.

• CMA CGM, ranked third largest box ship operator, will contribute some 24 percent of the capacity, equaling 0.6 million TEUs.

Vessels contributed to the P3 Network will continue to be owned or chartered by the lines, said Maersk Line.

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