There's big doings on the oceans these days, and big business is wondering about the ripple effects.
The world's three largest ocean carriers—Maersk Line, CMA CGM Group and Mediterranean Shipping—are forming an "alliance" on the trade routes connecting the world's three biggest economic centers: North America, Europe and Asia.
That means the carriers will share ships traveling on the Atlantic through the Suez and Panama canals into the Pacific. They will also share port facilities in transportation hubs from Shanghai to Los Angeles and New York, and on into Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
That worries the manufacturers and retailers that use shipping lines to send their products and supplies globally.
"It's enormous," said Bruce Carlton, president of the National Industrial Transportation League, a group that lobbies on transportation issues for U.S. businesses. "It's so big it raises immediate, obvious questions about the market implications, of pricing and competition among the carriers."