Freight News

Global Shippers’ Forum has more questions about P3

[ November 28, 2013   //   ]

The Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) tabled a series of questions about the mooted P3 Global Alliance with US Federal Maritime Commission on 26 November. It came in response to a request for further public comment on the planned agreement between between Maersk Line, CMA-CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

GSF secretary general, Chris Welsh said: “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…We believe the agreement warrants very careful scrutiny.”

GSF has already submitted detailed questions to the European Commission Competition Directorate in Brussels, and asked the EC competition authorities if it had commenced a formal investigation.

Mr Welsh continued: “What is also unique is the proposed creation of a London Network Centre. Our initial assessment raises concerns about how the P3 partners can compete because of the “commonality of costs” which gives strong grounds for assuming common pricing. The more the costs are common, the greater the need for the P3 partners to demonstrate how they are going to compete on price.”

However, he added: “While the GSF is concerned about the competitive impact of the proposed P3 Vessel Sharing Agreement, the GSF recognises that consortia that do not eliminate effective competition can provide benefits to shippers in terms of enhanced efficiency, lower operating costs, increased frequency and a wider range of services.”

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