Three members of the Europe, Pakistan
, India Consortium (EPIC) - which operates
container shipping services in the trade between Europe, the Middle East
Indian sub-continent - have given notice to the other consortium members. The
three will resign from membership of EPIC from July 2003.
Subject to regulatory approval, CMA CGM, Contship Containerlines and P&O
Nedlloyd will form a new consortium to be called EPIC 3.
Within the new consortium, the three container shipping lines will maintain
current service levels with a seven-ship fleet comprising of five ships in total
from Contship Containerlines and CMA CGM, plus two from P&O Nedlloyd. Today the
consortium members provide fixed-day weekly services, with some of the fastest
transit times on the route which will be maintained by the members of EPIC 3.
The prospective EPIC 3 members say this configuration will ensure continuity of
the capacity available through the new service agreement.
The EPIC consortium boosts several years of operation and was a pioneer of the
Europe, Middle East, India-Pakistan, Europe 'triangle' which works by balancing
the higher export volumes from Europe
to the Middle East, with the busier import
volumes from India/Pakistan to Europe.