One of the major stories in the ocean freight industry during 2014 was the collapse of the P3 Shipping Alliance. This Alliance comprised of three major shipping carriers: Maersk, CMA CGM and the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). Although US regulators approved of the P3 Shipping Alliance, it was the rejection from Chinese regulators that led to the demise of the group. China was especially concerned that the P3 Shipping Alliance made up a market share that was simply too big for international container transportation.
Fast-forward a few short months later. Maersk and MSC are back and ready to form a new shipping alliance to service numerous ports and nations. They call this the 2M Alliance. The good news for the 2M Alliance is that there is a smaller market share. Last time, Chinese regulators were concerned about the larger market share. The 2M Alliance is expected to comprise about 30% of the cargo that is shipped between Asia and Europe. The lines will be fully independent. The benefit, the companies say, of the 2M Alliance is the lower costs. Perhaps the shipping companies might pass on these savings to the shippers in the form of lower ocean freight shipping rates.
Before approving it, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) would like to discuss the matter with Chinese regulators first. Even though the FMC approved of the larger P3 Alliance, there are concerns about how this new Alliance will be. Concerned shippers should consult their trusted freight forwarders on the impact of the 2M Alliance if it goes through in 2015.