Supply Chain News / Finance & Credit / Ocean

Maersk Line, MSC & CMA CGM Establish Operational Alliance

June 18, 2013
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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.

According to a statement from Maersk, the aim is to improve and optimize operations and service offerings.

The P3 Network will operate a capacity of 2.6 million TEU (initially 255 vessels on 29 loops) on three trade lanes: Asia–Europe, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic.

While the P3 Network vessels will be operated independently by a joint vessel operating center, the three lines will continue to have fully independent sales, marketing and customer service functions.

Maersk insists that the P3 Network will provide customers with more stable, frequent and flexible services.

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.

The improved network is expected to reduce the disruptions for customers caused by cancelled sailings.

In order to provide customers with a consistent service offering across the network, the lines will establish an independent joint vessel operating center.

Declining volume growth and over-capacity in recent years have underlined the need to improve operations and efficiency in the industry. This has prompted the creation of other operational alliances such as G6 and CKYH. Using the P3 Network the lines expect to be able improve their efficiency through better utilization of vessel capacity.

The lines intend to start operations in the 2nd quarter of 2014, but the starting date will be subject to obtaining the approval of relevant competition and other regulatory authorities.

In addition, the establishment of the P3 Network is subject to the lines agreeing on definitive contracts. Finalization and signing of the contracts is planned for the 4th quarter of this year.

The P3 Network in Brief

  • The P3 Network will based on existing capacities of each member, initially operate a capacity of 2.6 million TEU (255 vessels).
  • Maersk Line will contribute with approximately 42 percent of the capacity (including the new Triple-E ships), of about 1.1 million TEU. Maersk Line will continue to offer the Daily Maersk product to those customers requesting it.
  • MSC will contribute with approximately 34 percent of the capacity, of about 0.9 million TEU of capacity.
  • CMA CGM will contribute with approximately 24 percent of the capacity equaling 0.6 million TEU.
  • Vessels contributed to the P3 Network will continue to be owned and/or chartered by the lines.
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