THE P3 mega alliance of Maersk MSC and CMA CGM will not solve the overcapacity problem but could mean the disbanding of old rival alliances and the creation of new ones, says SeaIntel Maritime Analysis CEO Lars Jensen.
Speaking at Containerisation International's Global Liner Conference, Mr Jensen said he expected the P3 carriers to enjoy cost advantages compared with rival carriers because of the size of vessels.
"P3 doesn't solve problems - it just rearranges the deck chairs on the Titanic," he said. "The fundamental problem is still there. What the P3 will do is shift part of this problem onto the other carriers."
He said rivals by forming a new, rival alliance, suggesting four to six shipping lines with similar strategic outlooks might band together.
But existing rival members are not a good fit because of differing goals. "If you look at the individual members, they do not have aligned strategic interests. Some have huge orderbooks and growth plans, some of them do not want to grow, they just want to be profitable," said Mr Jensen.
"Carriers that don't make it onto the new alliance will not survive on the main east west trades. They will either exit completely or they will have to be relegated to a position as a niche carriers," he said,
Other options for P3 rivals include mergers, which Mr Jensen fully expects as carriers come under pressure from powerful owners. Otherwise, alliances may take on new members, as with United Arab Shipping Co, or form ad hoc vessel-sharing agreements.