Alliance of top 3 shipping lines may start in mid-2014

Firms will pool 250 ships which will run on 3 trade routes

[COPENHAGEN] An alliance of the world's top three container shipping firms which could control more than a third of the market is likely to start operating in mid-2014, No 1 player Maersk Line said after the tie-up was approved by US regulators.

The industry has been battling overcapacity since the financial crisis because new vessels ordered before the downturn have flooded the market.

This has driven rates on the main route between Asia and northern Europe to loss-making levels.

The proposed alliance is between Maersk Line, a unit of AP Moller-Maersk, Switzerland-based MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and France's CMA CGM.

To cut costs, they have agreed to pool about 250 ships which will operate...

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