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2M rises from the ashes of P3

Weeks after China blocked the implementation of P3 on antitrust regulation grounds, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) have secured a 10-year deal to share vessels.

The new partnership, referred to as ‘2M’, consists of Maersk and MSC – two of the three P3 members.

2M maintains the vision of P3 and foresees the deal improving profitability and, vitally, efficiency of operations on routes spanning the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as between Asia and Europe.

The US and Europe had given the P3 alliance the go-ahead, however, Chinese regulators rejected the proposal on account of the alleged pressure coming from Chinese container-shipping companies, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Some companies feared that P3 would monopolise vital shipping routes.

If P3 had gone ahead, it was anticipated to save each of the three partners (Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM) almost US$1 billion in annual expenditure.

Announced on July 10, 2014, 2M is to include 185 vessels, compared to P3’s 225, with Maersk Line expected to provide around 55% of that figure.

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