China shippers urge Beijing to block P310 December 2013
CHINA Shippers’ Association is urging Beijing to apply the country’s antitrust laws to block the P3 alliance, arguing that the tie-up of the world’s three largest lines will increase the cost burden on shippers.
On Monday Dec. 9th the meeting of the CSA was held where the Association opposed the formation of P3. “We raised our concerns with the State Development & Reform Commission, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Commerce about one month ago, asking them to intervene to block the formation of P3,” told CSA vice-chairman Cai Jiangxiang.
The proposed alliance, which brings together Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM, will consist initially of 252 ships totalling 2.6m teu, deployed in the Asia-Europe, transpacific and transatlantic trades.
The tie-up will command market shares about 42% on the Asia-Europe route, 24% on the transpacific and around 40% on the transatlantic trade, the carriers estimate.
The competition regulators of China, the European Union and the US are meeting next week in Washington to discuss issues relating to carrier alliances, vessel-sharing agreements and the impact of operational agreements on international trade.
The talks are to be hosted by the Federal Maritime Commission.
In the meantime, the FMC has reset its 45-day filing period, originally due last week, that could clear regulatory approval for P3 to operate in US trades, as the Washington agency demanded more information from the three lines.
The new deadline will be set once the three companies have submitted the required information (source Lloyd's List).