CMA CGM vessels may become part of the Daily Maersk service from Asia to Europe next year when the French carrier joins Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co. in the new P3 Network.
“The Daily Maersk service will be swallowed by the P3 Network,” said Rodolphe Saade, executive officer of the Marseilles-based container line, which is the third-largest global carrier by capacity.
“We will have eight sailings a week, so it will be even better than the Daily Maersk, because Daily Maersk was one sailing per day, seven days a week,” he said in an interview with the JOC. “That’s an improvement.”
If CMA CGM vessels become a part of Daily Maersk, it is likely that MSC ships will also join the service.
A spokesman for Maersk Line would neither confirm nor deny Saade’s statement because he said the details of the P3 Network are still being worked out and are not yet finalized.
Saade said the P3 Network will be rolled out on the three major east-west trades — Asia to Europe, the trans-Pacific and the trans-Atlantic — and not to other trades, yet. “For the time being, we will stick to the three trades,” he said.
The P3 cooperation is subject to approval by regulatory authorities before it can develop further plans, he said. “We do appreciate that the FMC, Brussels and the Chinese authorities will need to see what we are doing, and we will have to await the outcome.”
He expects the network will receive regulatory approval next year. “We hope to get going by May of 2014, so we hope that by then we will have received clearance from the regulatory authorities.”
If CMA CGM vessels become part of the Daily Maersk service, they may include the three ships with capacities of 16,000 20-foot-equivalent units that have already been delivered and the six more that it anticipates acquiring.
CMA CGM has expanded the number of 16,000-TEU ships it plans to order to nine, Saade said.
The first three ships of the Explorer mega-ship series, built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea, have been delivered to the French carrier — the Marco Polo, the Alexander von Humboldt and the Jules Verne.
The Marco Polo was delivered in late 2012, and the other two vessels earlier this year. All three ships are deployed in the carrier’s FAL1 Asia-Europe service from China and Southeast Asia via the Middle East to North Europe.