CMA CGM, odd man out in the dissolution of P3, has bounced back as the senior partner in the formation of Ocean Three as the fourth major alliance, in another effort to bring stability to the container trades.

Just months after the rejection of the P3 alliance by the Chinese authorities CMA CGM has announced its plans to team up with United Arab Shipping Corp (UASC) and China Shipping Container Line (CSCL) in the global Ocean Three agreement.

Chinese regulators are expected to endorse the proposed P3 Network between the world’s three leading container lines later this month, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The European Commission has informed the three container lines of the P3 Network that it will not open anti-trust proceedings, allowing the shipping alliance to remain in compliance with EU competition law.

The formation of container shipping alliances is becoming more important for shipowners in a market where lowering slot costs and maximising capacity utilisation on larger ships are increasingly relevant, according to a senior industry player.

On the day that the G6 Alliance announced its planned expanded service network, the chief of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) Ng Yat Chung, which owns alliance member APL, said alliances will not improve rates for shipping lines.

Five container carriers, Cosco, K Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin Shipping and Evergreen Line, have agreed in principle to set up a new shipping alliance called the CKYHE Alliance.

Drydocks World has signed a strategic alliance agreement with German firm NSC Holding for the management of 56 vessels.

The timetable for the formation of P3 has added another layer of uncertainty to the liner business that affects service reliability to shippers, particularly in the Far East-Asia trade.

The announcement of the container shipping alliance P3 Network between Maersk Line, CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) is one that could truly warrant the tag of being a “game changer”.

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