The P3 Network carriers — Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM — have filed their proposed vessel-sharing agreement with the Federal Maritime Commission.
The agreement would give the three carriers the ability to discuss and agree on the size, number and operational characteristics of vessels to be operated on transatlantic and transpacific trade lanes. The P3 network vessel-sharing agreement also includes the Asia-Europe trade, which is not subject to the Shipping Act or FMC jurisdiction and is not reflected in the agreement
Initially, the three carriers said they would operate approximately 130 vessels in the trade, with nominal capacities ranging from approximately 4,000 TEUs to approximately 12,250 TEUs. Without further amendment to the agreement, they said they would be authorized to operate up to 180 vessels in the trade, each with a capacity of up to 19,200 TEU.
The carriers would contribute vessel capacity as they agree among
themselves and create a network center in London that would have
authority to skip sailings when utilization is likely to be low at times
around Christmas, Easter, the Chinese New Year, and Chinese May and
October bank holidays. Likewise, the network center may propose extra
loaders be added at times of high demand.
The agreement says each of the three carriers shall have a slot capacity allocation on each service and in each trade lane covered by the agreement, "which is the maximum number of slots and weight (whichever is reached first) specified in its capacity allocation as agreed by the the parties."
Each carrier may propose changes to its allocation on any service by way of an exchange of slots, provided that this would not result in a revision to the parties' capacity allocation by trade lane (Far East-North America West Coast; Far East-North America East Coast; Far East-U.S. Gulf; Northern Europe-U.S. East Coast; Mediterranean-U.S. East Coast). Such proposals shall be made by each carrier to the network center, which shall notify the Management Committee of such proposals on a no-names basis. Such proposals may be made and shall be discussed at such intervals as the parties may agree from time to time."
The agreement continues, "All arrangements for the sale or sub-chartering of slots to third-party vessel operators on any trade lane which are legally valid and binding as of the effective date of this agreement shall be permitted to continue, and the relevant party may allocate slots to the relevant third-party ocean common carrier from that party's capacity allocation on the relevant service in order to satisfy its contractual obligations. At the expiry or termination of such arrangement, such slots shall continue to form part of the relevant party's capacity allocation."
The agreement can be downloaded as a PDF from the FMC website.