2M complies with the Chinese requirements for the establishment of a Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA), and Maersk Line and MSC's collaboration is therefore, in principle, ready for launch, says Maersk Line CEO Søren Skou in a comment to ShippingWatch.
The comment comes after it has been revealed that one of the members of the US Federal Maritime Commission, FMC, will likely consult the Chinese regulatory authorities before the FMC makes its final decision regarding 2M.
"We've submitted our application and have thus fulfilled the requirements, but the Chinese regulators can of course at any given moment launch a study of the agreement. But we do believe that our VSA is fully comparable to other collaborations of similar scope," says Søren Skou.
Doyle is skeptical
The 2M partners have submitted their application to the FMC, which thus has 45 days to evaluate the collaboration, and it is in this regard that one of the FMC's five commissioners, William Doyle, wants to discuss the new major alliance between the world's two largest container carriers with the Chinese regulators. William Doyle was also the most skeptical FMC commissioner earlier this year, where the Commission ultimately cleared the planned P3 alliance between Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM.
"I want to see if China's regulatory authorities have any concerns. The 2M partners can say whatever they want, but what's important is what China comes up with. Let's not forget the trade to Europe from Asia comes from Asia and especially China," William Doyle tells the Wall Street Journal.
Only the US authorities will have to formally approve the collaboration. Unlike the P3 alliance - which China ultimately rejected - the 2M agreement will only have to be registered with the EU and China.
2M is expected to be launched in 2015.