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Alliances could revolutionize an entire industry

If the authorities approve the two major alliances, P3 and G6, the move would only represent the tip of the iceberg in the container industry, says analysts Drewry.

The container carriers' ambitions of securing economies of scale through larger alliances will have far-reaching consequences for the entire industry, consequences that the competition authorities in the United States, the EU, and China could have difficulties agreeing upon. The establishment of the P3 alliance with Maersk Line, MSC, and CMA CGM, the three biggest carriers in the world, and most recently the heavily expanded cooperation among the six carriers in the G6 alliance merely represent the tip of the iceberg, according to analysts Drewry.

"The G6 Alliance’s proposed expansion into the Asia/West Coast North America and North Europe/East Coast North America tradelanes in 2Q 2014 is just another step in the current process of ocean carrier schedule rationalisation. More is set to come, including the merging of services, should it be approved by regulatory authorities. Greater economies of scale are required to compete against the P3 alliance and/or make a profit," says Drewry in its Container Insight Weekly.

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