From SchedNet:“Too big to sail? China harpoons P3 white whale as more bad than good”

(June 19, 2014) – “China has blocked the P3 mega alliance forged by Maersk, CMA CGM and MSC, the world’s three biggest shipping lines, because it appeared to provide more benefits to its members and too few to its customers – and none at all to its rivals. The sorry fate of the P3, widely supposed to dominate world shipping in years to come, has humbled the world’s three biggest shipping lines, by China’s power to control the vital Asia-Europe trade lane …

“China’s Ministry of Commerce said no to the P3 because it would ‘restrict competition’. Said Beijing: ‘Based on market share, market access and industrial characteristics, the concentration will enable [P3] operators to become a close-knit alliance, commanding 47 per cent market share in the Asia-Europe liner service.’

“To this Maersk said: ‘The partners have agreed to stop the preparatory work on the P3 network and the P3 network as initially planned will not come into existence’ …

“Former US Federal Maritime Commission chairman Richard Lidinsky said he was pleased with China’s decision. ‘This would allow the controlling carrier the ability when coupled with existing discussion agreements, to deploy its assets along those two other carriers, to dominate competition and narrow shipper options.’ he said.

“Also pleased was, China Shippers’ Association as well as Asia Shippers’ Council vice chairman Cai Jiaxiang, who said: ‘We welcome the ministry’s decision, which is a very wise one. The ministry’s analysis entirely reflects the reality. P3 indeed excludes competition.’

“Also pleased was the European Shippers’ Council (ESC), having already expressed ‘concern about the risk of a dominant situation created by an alliance that could represent 44 per cent of market shares for trades between China and Europe’.

“The three carriers were to commit 255 vessels deployed on 29 services. Maersk, which moves 15 per cent of all the world’s container, was expected to contribute 42 per cent of the tonnage.” —

[An aside to “P3″. Let’s be honest, fellas. The real intent behind your brazen attempt to control shipping trades and prices was to force the little guy into unavoidable bankruptcy.

Thanks to those with a more altruistic philosophy, however, those little guys can be heard breathing sighs of relief.

And the ever dwindling numbers of customers (consumers) will be thankful they’ve been spared from bearing the burden of unchallenged price increases in the absence of those smaller carriers whose competitive actions have repeatedly been a shield against greedy, price-manipulating bullies.]