The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has announced that they have not approved the P3 Network (P3). P3 was a long-term operational vessel sharing agreement proposed by MSC, CMA CGM, and Maersk Line. The MOFCOM’s decision follows a review under China’s merger control rules.
The P3 partners take note of and respect MOFCOM’s decision. Subsequently, the partners have agreed to stop the preparatory work on the P3 Network and the P3 Network as initially planned will not come into existence.
MSC will continue to review all remaining options as to how it can continue to become more cost efficient and improve its service offering in the absence of P3.
“We are disappointed by the decision of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) but will continue our efforts to operate more efficiently and provide our clients with a comprehensive and excellent service” says Diego Aponte, Vice President.“We could have achieved these efficiencies much faster through P3 but with our investment in more fuel efficient vessels, further economies of scale will still be achieved over a period of time.”
On 18 June 2013, Maersk Line, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. and CMA CGM announced their intention to establish a long-term operational vessel sharing agreement on the East – West trades, called the P3 Network (P3). The overall aim with P3 was to make container liner shipping more efficient and improve service quality for the shippers due to more frequent and reliable services. P3 was intended to be an operational, not a commercial, cooperation.
On 24 March 2014, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) decided to allow the P3 Network agreement to become effective in the US, and on 3 June 2014, the European Commission informed the P3 partners that it had decided not to open an antitrust investigation into P3 and had closed its file. P3 was scheduled to start operations in the autumn of 2014.