Is China right about “virtual” ocean carrier cartels?
China's Ministry of Commerce – citing anti-trust concerns – noted that the P3 Netword would control 47% of the Asia-to-Europe container shipping market, and failed to demonstrate that it would bring more benefit than harm to shippers’ interest.
in the NewsState of Logistics 2016: Pursue mutual benefit Protective packaging revenues to nearly double by 2026 As ocean cargo alliances prepare for new deployments, Port of Oakland remains “confident” A3 previews Automate 2017 show and conference Slow progress on Positive Train Control implementation remains intact, reports FRA More News
News that China’s Ministry of Commerce has withheld its approval of the P3 Network – comprising the world’s three largest ocean cargo carriers – may give shippers a reason to consider the viability of such an arrangement to begin with. Can the Chinese be right about fearing a rate-fixing monopoly?
Denmark’s AP Møller-Maersk, France’s CMA CGM SA and Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Co. had good reason to believe that the alliance was a “done deal” as recently as last week. With the United States Federal Maritime Commission signing off on P3 to become effective in the U.S., and the subsequent European Commission blessings, the only remaining obstacle was China.
And as our Jeff Berman recently reported, the carriers were confident that approval was only a formality.
But China’s Ministry of Commerce – citing anti-trust concerns – noted that P3 would control 47% of the Asia-to-Europe container shipping market, and failed to demonstrate that it would bring more benefit than harm to shippers’ interest.
Meanwhile, the G6 collaboration may soon be rethinking their plans for the future. American President Lines, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui, Nippon, and OOCL had only agreed to join forces as a competitive alternative to P3.
With that deal quashed, mightn’t we expect more disruption in containerized shipping? In any case, the irony is that a command economy like China can reshape free market forces by creating disincentives for potential corporate collusion.
Related: China Torpedoes P3 Alliance Plans
About the AuthorPatrick Burnson, Executive Editor Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]
Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!
5 Supply Chain Trends Happening Now 2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise View More From this Issue