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CMA CGM set to join new box grouping

CMA CGM is to join forces with United

Arab Shipping

(UASC) and China Shipping in a new east-west trade vessel sharing

agreemen. The new

CUC Alliance will operate on all major trades, but particularly on the Asia/Europe axis, along with Transpacific services to and from the US east and west coasts and between Europe and the Mediterranean. CMA CGM said that it would

offer from 2015 an additional four weekly services in the Asia- Europe trade in addition to the two existing weekly services, giving a total of six departures per week. UK calls will be in

Southampton and Felixstowe, boith served weekly with transit times from China starting from 24 days (Yantian-Southampton). The carrier is also promising a comprehensive feeder network to the UK east and west coasts and Ireland. On the Asia-Mediterranean

trade there would be four weekly services, two to the Mediterranean, one to the Adriatic and one to the Black Sea.

CMA CGM found itself in need

of alliance partners aſter the Chinese brought plans for a ‘P3’ grouping between CMA CGM, MSC and Maersk to a halt. The latter two lines


agreed to set up their M2 vessel sharing agreement, leaving CMA

CGM out in the cold. Global Shippers Forum

secretary general Chris Welsh described the move as “a predictable

response to the

failure of the P3 alliance to get approval.” He pointed out, also, that both CUC and M2 still needed to clear regulatory hurdles in the US, China and Europe. He added, though, that from a competition point of view, “some might argue that two alliances are better than one.” GSF members were also

concerned that there should continue to be an ongoing and dynamic market and that growing service quality issues are addressed. CUC would bring together

one of Europe’s largest operators together with counterparts from China and the Middle East Gulf region. The grouping could also bring together two powerful players on the Far East/Middle East trade to the strategically important Dubai region. It also combines major owners large containerships; China


Shipping’s 19,000teu vessels currently under construction will be among the largest box ships afloat. It neatly ties up some of the

container shipping industry’s ‘loose ends’. With other major carriers already involved in G6 and CKYHE, it brings some of the last major independent carriers into the alliance fold.

Associated British Ports (ABP) has protested to the Welsh government that plans

for a

new M4 relief road through Newport would severely curtail operations at Wales’ largest general cargo port. Port director Matthew Kennerley said that the motorway scheme would eat into the port’s land reserves

Issue 6 2014 - Freight Business Journal

3 ABP slams Newport motorway plan

and severely restrict air draſt for vessels using the port, which is a major gateway not only for Wales, but also for the English Midlands. However, Transport Minister

Edwina Hart appears to be committed to the scheme which is due to be completed by 2022 and aims to reduce some of

Wales’ worst traffic congestion. Hart said that she would not reverse her decision on the route of the new road. Friends of the Earth Cymru has said that it would take the decision to judicial review unless the consultation process is restarted. ABP favours a route further to the north that would avoid

the port’s main operational area, and a ‘blue route’ was suggested by transport expert Prof Stuart Cole. However, in a letter to the Welsh Government, solicitors acting on behalf of Friends of the Earth Cymru said this had been ignored.

(FBJ5 2014 contains a full report on Wales.)

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