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Shippers say P3 requires 'very careful scrutiny' by FMC

Shippers say P3 requires 'very careful scrutiny' by FMC
The Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) says the proposed P3 alliance requires “very careful scrutiny” by the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).

The GSF has submitted a series of questions to the FMC in response to its call for public comment on the P3 alliance.

“The P3 Network Vessel Sharing Agreement is unprecedented in its scale and scope, many of the provisions of which are open-ended according to the agreement filed with the FMC,” said Chris Welsh, secretary general of the GSF.

“In the view of the GSF this may affect the commerce of the United States in its import and export trades. In light of this we believe the agreement warrants very careful scrutiny, and sincerely hope that the questions we have posed will assist FMC staff and commissioners in its evaluation of the P3 agreement.”

Much of the shippers’ group focus is on the alliance members, Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) and CMA CGM plan to share costs and how this will impact competition between them.

“What is also different and unique is the proposed creation of a London Network Centre. Our initial assessment raises concerns about how the P3 partners can compete because of the ‘commonality of costs’ which gives strong grounds for assuming common pricing. The more the costs are common, the greater the need for the P3 partners to demonstrate how they are going to compete on price," Welsh said.

Recently the Asian Shippers’ Council said it “feared the worst” if the alliance was approved by regulators.