New shipping alliance formed

by Array

COPENHAGEN, Denmark—Danish shipping and oil group AP Moller-Maersk says the world’s three biggest shipping container operators have entered an alliance to reduce fuel consumption and improve service and operations.

Vincent Clerc of the Copenhagen-based company’s shipping unit says MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA and CMA CGM of France will form the P3 alliance with Maersk Line.

The alliance will be an independently operated network with 255 vessels on 29 loops and is to start operations next year, depending on regulatory approvals. Maersk stressed the companies will continue to have fully independent sales, marketing and customer service functions, but P3 will establish an independent joint vessel operating centre. By combining their resources, the lines will offer more sailings to more ports of call than they currently do individually.

The P3 alliance will operate a capacity of 2.6 million TEUs between Asia and Europe, across the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The breakdown is expected to be as follows:

  • Maersk Line will contribute with approximately 42 percent of the capacity (including the new Triple-E ships), of about 1.1 million TEUs.
  • MSC will contribute with approximately 34 percent of the capacity, of about 0.9 million TEUs.
  • CMA CGM will contribute with approximately 24 percent of the capacity or 0.6 million TEUs.

The deal should be finalized by Q4 2013.