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15 November 2018 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 19:39 GMT+1



November 2, 2018

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Original news
Forum to the system of the mega-alliances of the containerized marine transport lasts critical of the International Transport

The manifest ITF perplexity about the eventual maintenance of the specific exemptions for category

The diffuse relationship today from the International Transpor Forum on the impact on the segment of the containerized marine transport of the alliance tightened between the companies of navigation of the field nozzle an alarm for the excessive concentration of the market in the hands of little, indeed least operators. Specifying that the alliances have become a dominant characteristic of the transport of the container, the ITF, the intergovernmental organization of the OCSE that takes care of the topics of the transport, have evidenced that about 95% of the cargo ability put in field from the line transport on the main marine routes East-West they are covered by three carriers that take part of sun alliances: the 2M constituted from the two world leaders of the field, the Danish Maersk Line and the Italian-Helvetian Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the Ocean Alliance formed from Chinese COSCO (with OOCL), from the French CMA CGM and the taiwanese Evergreen, that they are respective third, fourth and seventh world-wide company of the field, and the THE Alliance constituted by the Hapag-Lloyd German, the Ocean Japanese Network Express (ONE) and by the taiwanese Yang Ming, that they are fifth, sixth and eighth company of the market.

Remembering that these shipowning alliances usually consist in a series of relative agreements to the sharing of ships and slot, that is cargo spaces on the portacontainer, the relationship finds that if the first generations of total alliances emerged to half of years ‘90 represented vehicles for the cooperation between companies of smaller navigation of dimension, today the alliances are instruments of cooperation for the greatest companies of the field. In fact the three alliances 2M, Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance together put the first eight marine carriers of the world-wide market that transport altogether about 80% of the total volume of containerized marine traffics.

According to the report of the ITF, these alliances have allowed with the companies to acquire and to manage mega-ships, reducing the transport unitary costs, portacontainer of large-capacity that some of these carriers would otherwise not have been able to order to the ship yards. Document observes that, since the orders of mega-ships have fed the ability excess that characterizes the market, exist therefore a tie between alliances and sovracapacità.

An other I find moved to the current system of the alliances is that these have returned also the offer of marine transport more uniform and have limited the possibilities for the navigation companies to differentiate their offer. Moreover the alliances have contributed to reduce the frequency of the marine services, to diminish the connections directed between port and port let alone to reduce the reliability of the schedule and to generate a lengthening of the times of wait. This - second the International Transport Forum - has produced an increase of the total times of transport and for the loaders an increase of the costs determined from the necessity has generated an uncertainty of the deliveries causing to increase and to manage the escorts. The relationship observes moreover that these alliances have been revealed intrinsically unstable as, since all the main world-wide carriers take part of alliances, the changes within a single alliance can have an impact on the entire field.

An impact negative - according to the report - is constituted also by the fact that these alliances influence in various ways the entire system of the transports. In the first place they contribute to the concentration of the traffic on determined harbour systems and to greater displacements of traffic volumes if the alliances decide to change the programming of their ports of call in the ports. Moreover, inside of the same ports, the superpower of the shipowning alliances can create a destructive competition between the operators of the terminals and other suppliers of harbour services, as for example the towing services. This can involve a reduction of the return of the investments in the harbour field, causing consequently a decline of the little ones carries container and the disappearance of little ones independent terminals operator, so as of towing society. To such purpose, the document evidences as it is not a case that the market share of the controlled terminals operator from navigation companies is passed by 18% in 2001 to 38% in 2017 and as this it can arouse worries under the profile of the competition as terminals dedicated to the traffics of specific companies of navigation could exclude other companies and as the investments in the terminals by the navigation companies they could determine an increase of the costs of income in the market of the harbour terminalismo returning it less open.

The International Transport Forum has moreover expressed particular worry because often - it has denounced the intergovernmental organization of the OCSE - these alliances and the companies that takes part some exercise strong pressures so that work is undertaken, financed with public funds, of potenziamento of the harbour infrastructures that in such a way can be used from their mega-ships, expenses that - the relationship supports - are often revealed uneconomical are because of the variation of the question of harbour services that of the monopolistic power exercised by the alliances.

The specific document moreover that, if the hold excess that characterizes the field has determined a reduction of the transport rates, however these savings partially are compensated by a series of additional costs for the loaders. To this sum the fact that, limiting the marine shipment options, the alliances have made useless the strategies of diversification of the risk located in existence from loaders and shippers.

Between the other reliefs which moved to the system of the shipowning mega-alliances, the relationship observes that these could act as vehicles for collusions between the navigation companies as they supply to the single carriers a groundbreaking acquaintance of the structures of the costs of their competitors.

The relationship of the ITF at last puts in argument the opportunity to still maintain in vigor in within EU the system of exemption for category for the consortia between navigation companies. A month it makes the EU commission has invited the interested parts on April 25, 2020 to introduce observations on this specific Regulations of exemption of category in sight of its previewed expiration(on 27 September 2018). According to the ITF, the maintenance of the exemptions for category a fast evolution of the alliances between companies has allowed that has carried to the current situation of great concentration of the market. Us it could be asked - the relationship of the International Transport concludes Forum - if advantages from the maintenance of the exemptions for category can still sussistere.

ABB Marine Solutions
Consorzio ZAI
Salerno Container Terminal



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