Shipping companies Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM have today announced that they will be establishing a new three-way alliance, dubbed the P3 Network.

P3 will be an independently operated network comprising 255 vessels totalling a capacity of 2.6m twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Its shipping routes will cover the Asia-Europe, Transpacific and Transatlantic (North Europe and Mediterranean) trades and is set to commence operations in the second quarter of 2014.

Maersk has announced its intention to contribute more than 100 vessels, including its new Triple E class, comprising a capacity of 1.1m TEUs, or 42 per cent of total operations. MSC will contribute 34 per cent of the capacity at 0.9m TEUs and CMA CGM will contribute 24 per cent at 0.6m TEUs.

A unique selling point P3 offers customers is its Joint Vessel Operating Centre (JVOC) aimed at delivering maximum cost efficiency.The companies also promise customers the alliance will deliver more stable, frequent and flexible services, with CMA CGM citing the P3 Network’s capacity to offer 8 weekly sailings between Asia and Northern Europe.

Despite this unified approach, each company is still set to have fully independent sales, pricing, marketing and customer service functions.

“We are pleased with this principal agreement to establish the P3 alliance with CMA CGM and MSC,' said Vincent Clerc, chief trade and marketing officer at Maersk Line.

“In recent years, Maersk Line has taken many initiatives to improve on the customer and products side and this alliance will be yet another step in this drive,' he continued. 'It will provide our customers on the main trades with attractive, stable services and our Triple-E vessels will be implemented in the network without adding to the overcapacity on Asia-Europe.

“Fuel consumption will also be reduced with significant benefits for the environment, and our operations will get even more efficient and competitive.”