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.
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.
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”.