The Global Shippers' Forum has welcomed confirmation that the European Competition Commission will closely monitor the P3 for compliance with EU competition rules.
GSF Secretary General, Chris Welsh, said,"The GSF has asked the Commission to closely scrutinise the P3 to ensure the Agreement is in line with the general provisions of the EU competition guidelines. We have also requested regular monitoring of the Agreement and the provision of specific information by the P3 lines to assist the Commission in monitoring compliance with the competition rules."
GSF believes the P3 should assist the Commission in monitoring compliance by providing reports on service performance on specific port pairs, vessel withdrawals including short-term withdrawals that might cause disruption to shippers' supply chains, and information about future investment plans including future joint investment strategies that would impact on future capacity availability in the markets in which the P3 will operate.
Chris Welsh said,"The P3 lines must now to step up to the plate and deliver on their promises of improved services and lower costs. Shippers will expect to see a wider range of services, enhanced service performance including improved service reliability and on time delivery. Above all, shippers expect to share in the benefit of more competitive freight rates through reduced costs."
Chris Welsh added, "Effective monitoring of P3 compliance with EU competition rules is absolutely essential in view of the unprecedented market power of the world's three largest lines that collectively represent over 40% market share in the world's main liner trades, including over 46% market share in the Asia-Europe market. If there are any signs of a reduction in service quality or elimination in effective competition between the P3 lines and in the liner market generally, we would expect immediate action by the European Commission against the P3 lines, including the imposition of appropriate sanctions for competition abuses."