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Shipping companies to form new alliance

Two of the shipping companies in the P3 Network alliance have announced they will enter a new partnership in early 2015.

Maersk Line will join forces with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to form a 10-year vessel sharing agreement (VSA) under the name of 2M.

The move marks the end of the P3 Network alliance, the partnership between Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM that was signed in December 2013.

The 2M VSA will cover the three main East-West trade lanes: Asia-Europe, trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific trade routes with 185 vessels operating on 21 vessel routes between predetermined ports.

This will allow the two carriers to share infrastructure and cover more ports with direct services.

It will replace all existing VSAs and slot purchase agreements that Maersk and MSC currently have in these routes, but it will not include joint marine operations.

Each company will have to conduct its own voyage planning, port operations and stowage.

Søren Skou, chief executive of Maersk Line, said: “We will continue to provide our customers with competitive and reliable container shipping in the East-West trades at attractive prices.

“To do so we have to be innovative and take out cost, while keeping a product that is best in class for our customers in terms of coverage, frequency and reliability.”

Diego Aponte, vice-president at MSC, said: “The 2M VSA will enable us to achieve significant reductions in fuel consumption, driving down the carbon footprint of our shipping operations.”

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