Subject to regulatory approval, the proposed P3 alliance – Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM – plans to restructure the three carriers’ east-west mainline services. The new joint network will lead to a consolidation of strings and to an up-sizing of the vessel fleet.
The P3 alliance’s Transatlantic pattern will consist of five dedicated weekly services: Three North Europe loops and two Med slings.
Additionally, one Suez-routed Asia to USEC service which performs way calls at Algeciras (WB) and Tanger Med (EB) is expected to serve partially as a Med to USEC loop.
One further Suez-routed Asia to USEC features underway calls at Haifa (WB and EB), but can be omitted from the count of actual Transatlantic services as Haifa is not a major hub and volumes are expected to be limited.
It has to be noted that the P3 agreement does not cover all Transatlantic activities of Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM.
Offerings such as dedicated India and Middle East to USEC loops, Panama-routed Europe to ANZ services with USEC coverage, as well as Canada-related services, remain outside the scope of the P3.
In many cases, such services are offered in partnership with third parties outside the ‘big three’.
On the mainlines however, the P3 alliance’s Transatlantic network of five loops will succeed a pattern of seven loops.
Nevertheless, the alliance is expected to increase its Transatlantic capacity by some 15%, as the partner carriers will phase many large ships into the consolidated service structure.
In 2014, many of today’s 4,000 to 6.750 teu vessels trading between Europe and North America for P3 member lines, will be replaced or supplemented by 8,500 teu units.
Many such ships have become available since the Asia-Europe trunk routes are being boosted to capacities of 13,000 to 16,000 teu per week, with numerous newbuilt ultra-large vessels.
The P3 Europe / Med – North America setup looks as follows:
Northern Europe to USEC and US Gulf
North Atlantic / Liberty Bridge / TA1
Bremerhaven, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Le Havre, New York, Baltimore, Norfolk, New York, Bremerhaven
South Atlantic / Victory Bridge / TA2
Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Le Havre, Charleston, Freeport, Miami, Veracruz, Altamira, Miami, Savannah, Charleston, Antwerp
(MSC name) / Equality Bridge / TA3
Antwerp, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Bremerhaven, Le Havre, New York, Charleston, Savannah, Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Freeport, Norfolk, Antwerp
Mediterranean to USEC and US Gulf
(MSC name) / Amerigo / TA5
Gioia Tauro, Naples, La Spezia, Genoa, Fos-sur-Mer, Valencia, Sines, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, Valencia, Gioia Tauro
(MSC name) / Med-Gulf / TA6
Gioia Tauro, La Spezia, Genoa, Barcelona, Valencia, Sines, Freeport, Port Everglades, Veracruz, Altamira, Houston, New Orleans, Miami, Freeport (Bah.), Sines, Algeciras, Barcelona, Gioia Tauro
Atlantic / Vespucci / (tbd) (as part of an Asia – USEC service with waycalls at the Gibraltar Strait hubs of Algeciras and Tanger)
(From Asia via Suez…), Valencia, Algeciras, New York, Savannah, Charleston, Tanger Med, Marsaxlokk, (…to Asia via Suez).