Just weeks after Chinese regulators put an end to the P3 alliance, container shipping leaders Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. have signed a 10-year deal to share vessels, on some of the world's busiest trade routes.
Mærsk announced that the new deal with MSC, which the partners are calling 2M, will allow the carriers to enjoy lower slot costs, by improving the utilization of vessel capacity and economies of scale.
The new vessel-sharing agreement between MSC and Maersk Line is in line with the expectations following the rejection of P3 … In a broader industry perspective, we expect VSAs to be the main vehicle for new cross-carrier collaboration in the main east-west trades for the near-term future, as carriers will strive to avoid another rejection by competition authorities.- Chief Executive of SeaIntel Maritime Analysis
If the P3 alliance had gone ahead as planned, it likely would have saved each of the three partners close to $1 billion in annual operating costs. The P3 alliance would have operated with a fleet of 255 vessels and likely controlled nearly 40 percent of cargo shipped from Asia to Europe. The new, smaller agreement is expected to include 185 vessels, with Mærsk Line contributing approximately 55 percent of the 2M alliance's total capacity. Mærsk said that each of the container lines would keep their independent commercial relationships with customers and suppliers, and that there would be no joint ownership of container shipping vessels.