MSC-Maersk Vessel Deal Less Worrying than P3?

MSC-Maersk Vessel Deal Less Worring than P3
MSC, Maersk Vessels in Port of Hamburg

The Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) between MSC and Maersk, announced yesterday, is less worrying for shippers than the planned P3, said the European Shippers’ Council (ESC), representing the freight transport interests (by all modes of transport) of business in Europe.

According to ESC,  previous cooperation was more integrated and had huge market share on all concerned trades.

However, even with “only ” Maersk & MSC, the carriers reach around 35% of market shares between Asia and Europe which is still very important and can cause some wondering.

“As far as European Shippers Council is concerned, this threshold is enough to require some railing from competition authorities. The ones proposed by FMC for the P3 would be sufficient to reassure shippers in some aspects,” ESC said.

“Focus should clearly be put on the monitoring of capacity modification and its impact on rates.”

“Furthermore, a centralized notification system should be created to ensure that shippers get service modification (including transit time and port called) long enough in advance to be able to take these modifications into consideration in their transport plan.

Additionally, shippers will be very careful on the development of such alliance and its impact on rates, ports called and quality of services. We continue to advocate a deeper involvement of “EU competition watch dogs”.”

ESCA said that the renewal of the consortia exemption, clearly shows the difference in approach between EU competition authorities and the one from other part of the world when looking at shipping.

Earlier Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM, the world’s three largest container shipping lines, announced to stop their intended operational cooperation, referred to as P3.

The companies concluded this after the Chinese competition authorities decided to reject the intended cooperation. The ESC stated at the time that the companies apparently could not convince authorities that the so-called P3 alliance could prove beneficial to the market.


Press Release; July 11th, 2014

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