Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ocean Three Container Shipping Agreements to Offer Freight Alternatives on Major Routes

New Cooperative Deals See French Line Join Forces with Chinese and Arabs
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Following the demise of the planned P3 network, French group CMA CGM has led the way as the third largest container shipping line to sign three new agreements with China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) for cooperation on the major worldwide maritime trade routes, pending the usual approvals by the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).

Under the name of Ocean Three, the agreements concern the Asia-Europe, Asia-Mediterranean, Transpacific, and Asia-United States East Coast, maritime trades. The agreements (a combination of Vessel Sharing Agreements, Slot Exchange Agreements and Slot Charter Agreements) will complete the CMA CGM offering on the biggest global maritime markets. The portfolio from the world’s number three box line which operates over 2.3 million TEU will include:

On the Asia-Europe trade – 4 weekly services, which with the 2 existing services, thereby will offer 6 departures per week

On the Asia-Mediterranean trade – 4 weekly services, 2 to the Mediterranean, 1 to the Adriatic and 1 to the Black Sea (the only one on this market)

On the Transpacific – 4 weekly services to California and 1 service to the Pacific Northwest (United States and Canada)

On the Asia-US East Coast trade – 1 service via the Suez Canal and 1 service dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico.

With the need of regulatory approval from the US, it is likely that the FMC would need to consult its Chinese counterparts regarding the Asian services before moving any further, to see if China’s authorities have any issues or concerns. FMC Commissioner, William Doyle, has stated his intention to speak to the commission that denied the go-ahead of the P3 Alliance before approving CMA CGM’s former proposed partners Maersk’s and Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) planned 2M network.

The agreements on the Trans-Atlantic trade are being finalised and will soon be announced. This new offering will combine both speed and reliability and rotations will be optimised with calls in all the biggest Asian, European and North American ports, using transhipment hubs common to the three partners. Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Vice Chairman, said:

“We are very pleased to have signed these three agreements with such reputable partners, whom we both know and appreciate. This will allow us to propose to our clients a high quality and reliable alternative to existing services on the market. CMA CGM will continue its global development.”