The service schedule that the P3 Alliance plans to launch next May indicates that Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM will boost the combined capacity of their services on the trans-Pacific by a significant amount, while the increases will be smaller on the Asia-Europe and Asia-Mediterranean lanes.
The P3 network capacity from Asia to U.S. West Coast ports will increase by about 5 percent over levels deployed by the three lines at the end of September, while the all-water capacity to East Coast ports will jump by 8 percent, Drewry Maritime Research said in its weekly Container Insight.
Drewry estimates that Asia-West Coast capacity will increase to 2,756,000 20-foot-equivalent units, while the capacity deployed from Asia to the East Coast will grow to 1,586,000 TEUs.
Nevertheless, the P3 Alliance’s overall global network capacity will only increase by a moderate amount, indicating that the three carriers plan to compete on the basis of service quality rather than quantity, Drewry said.
The P3 Alliance will deploy one less weekly service on the Asia-Europe trade, which will limit the overall increase on that lane to 2.25 percent. It will also remove one weekly service from the Asia-Mediterranean trade.
Drewry said the P3’s competitors “will heave a sigh of relief that only moderate capacity growth is planned.”
But it cautioned that “with less to differentiate service quality between the three carriers, price will become the determining factor.”