Alliance P3 and Baltic container traffic
In June last year, three largest carriers - Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company and CMA CGM announced the plans of forming new operational alliance. P3 will possess the world's largest fleet of 255 vessels with a total capacity of 2.6 million TEUs. The Alliance will offer 29 lines in three directions: Asia -Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific. The P3 Alliance aims at improving the efficiency of navigation and providing better ships' capacity utilization. The carriers will run their own strategies regarding sales, marketing and customer service. Currently alliance is subject to approval of antitrust authorities the U.S., China and the EU.
In the container operators there is a trend towards consolidation. In 2011, the G6 Group was established (the group form: APL , Hapag - Lloyd AG , Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui OSK Lines, NYK and OOCL). In January this year Asian shipowners alliance CKYH (Cosco Container Lines, K-Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin) announced negotiations with the Evergreen .
Among ports and terminals there are winners and losers of these trends. Deepwater Ports which can handle the largest vessels thus providing economies of scale that are located in proximity to target markets, are the greatest beneficiaries. According to Sea Intel analysis, DCT Gdańsk will take advantage from the P3 Alliance (Gdansk terminal was placed on the list of hub ports in one of eight Europe-Asia loops). It is also predicted that the beneficiaries of the newly formed alliance will also be terminals i nWilhelmshaven and Antwerp. The biggest loser is said to be Port o Rotterdam.
Similarly to the ocean routes, there is also a consolidation trend among operators offering short sea shipping at theBaltic Sea. In recent years there have been formed numerous alliances, including the Green Alliance (COSCO, Hanjin, Yang Ming, K Line) and the Pan-European Feeder Network (Unifeeder and United Feeder Services Ltd). Currently in 54 ports located at theBaltic Seaoperate 74 container terminals offering 100 regular feeder connections. The new network of hub ports that will be created as a result of the establishment of the P3 Alliance will also create changes in the network of feeder connections. There is a risk that terminals in Gdyni amight lose their major operators: CMA CGM and MSC.
The final decision on P3 routes will be taken on the basis of the terminals performance in terms of quality and speed service as well as provision of intermodal connections and efficient transport to and from the ports.