FMC announced on Thursday that it has authorised Maersk Line and MSC to share vessels and engage in related cooperative operating activities in the trades between the US and Asia, North Europe and the Mediterranean.
For a start, the lines will operate approximately 97 vessels in the trade, with nominal capacities ranging from 4,000 teu to 13,000 teu. FMC said the parties are authorised to operate up to 130 vessels in the trade, each with a capacity of up to 19,200 teu.
“The commission’s action on the 2M Agreement is based on the comprehensive, competitive analysis conducted by the FMC staff, and takes into account responses from the agreement parties to staff and commissioner questions raised during the 45-day review period, as well as comments received from the European Shippers Council, the only public comment received on the proposed agreement,” said Mario Cordero, chairman of FMC.
The US was the only remaining jurisdiction where the 10-year vessel sharing agreement had to be obtain, and further clearance is not needed from the European or Chinese authorities.
“Due to a larger and more cost efficient network, we can continue to provide our customers in North America, Europe and Asia competitive and reliable container shipping services. We look forward to starting operations on our new East/West network in January 2015,” said Vincent Clerc, chief trade and marketing officer at Maersk Line.
The announcement of the 2M alliance on 10 July this year came less than four week after the grander P3 alliance between Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM was rejected by China.
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