Freight News, Sea

US regulator calls for P3 to be put under the microscope

[ October 28, 2013   //   ]

The Federal Maritime Commission , which regulates ocean transport in the US has joined other industry groups in calling for a careful scrutiny the proposed ‘P3’ alliance between Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM. FMC chairman, Mario Cordero, has called other regulators in the European Union and China, to join with him in a Global Regulatory Summit on the proposed P3 Global Alliance. The Summit would take place in Washington, DC, with regulators to discuss their respective regulatory roles in considering the impact of the announced Alliance.

In October, the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) raised its concerns over the P3 shipping alliance, saying that it was concerned about its market impact and the effect on rates and the quality of services (FBJ 7 2013, page 3). The P3 Alliance has also unveiled outline plans for its service schedules in the main east-west, transpacific and transatlantic trades.

The FMC chairman said that early estimates by Maersk Line’s chief trading and marketing officer put market control of such an alliance at about 42% on the Asia to Europe route, 24% on the transpacific routes, and 40 – 42% on the transatlantic route. Indications are that the P3 network will be operated from new management offices in London and Singapore with a staff of approximately 200. The proposed Alliance has already named Maersk Line’s head of Asia/Europe trade Lars Mikel Jensen as its chief executive officer.

Other FMC members voiced consern about fleet reduction and plans. Commissioner Richard A. Lidinsky also said: “It is clear this Alliance is moving forward as if it has already met regulatory approval despite the lack of any significant filing with regulatory authorities in Europe, China or the US. Pushing behind the scenes and placing positive stories with the press is not a substitute for proper consideration of the consequences of this massive carrier alignment.”

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