December 19 - Maritime regulators from the United States, China and the European Commission met on December 17, 2013 to discuss the changing state of the global maritime business, in particular the development of container line alliances.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) convened its global regulatory summit in Washington, D.C. where representatives from each region discussed the differing regulatory frameworks and the potential effects of carrier cooperation on international trade.

Under scrutiny was the emergence of the P3 alliance, and the potential extension of the G6 network, where some of the world's largest container lines plan to cooperate on East-West trade lanes - further details have been described by HLPFI here.

And while no concrete conclusions were drawn during the summit, each party felt that progress had been made to better understand the legal framework and potential impacts of such alliances.

Hubert de Broca, head of unit, directorate general for competition, antitrust-transport, post and other services, and leader of the EU delegation, commented: "We welcome the opportunity to discuss our comparative regulatory regimes. Discussion is the best vehicle we have to share our collective expertise given that we each have different tools. We thank the FMC for initiating this summit and inviting us to participate what has been an informative dialogue."

Maersk Line, the largest stakeholder in the P3 alliance, has said that the launch of the alliance is now expected to happen in the last part of the second quarter of 2014, and the meeting at the FMC has not affected the scheduled launch.