Is bigger better in ocean shipping?

The P3 consortium may expand to more companies. This is a form of cooperation or collusion protected by law in many countries, so that guaranteed service can be provided when it would be too expensive and risky for one shipowner to do it.  But is bigger always better?  And how about the consumer, the shipper? Is there a chance of collusion on rates?

Faster clock speed of business may require more frequent service, and that makes it even harder to provide ships often enough.  Right now, freight rates are low, and we do not see the consortium as a problem.  In fact, it allows slow steaming to be offset by more frequent ships, which levels out the delivery time problem it causes. But in the future, there is some chance rates will go up.

Maersk cannot rule out a P4 network – Lloyd’s Loading List.


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