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Container lines consolidate service networks out of South India as trade expands

Container lines are rapidly expanding connections out of South India to keep pace with growing trade volumes.

But the concentration of calls at private box terminals operated by Adani Group, which act as alternatives to Chennai Port, is becoming increasingly evident.

HMM has cemented its network with direct sailings out of Adani Kattupalli Port (AKPPL). Its FIM [Far East Asia-India-Mediterranean] service is a major boon for southern India shippers traditionally tethered to transshipment over Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port for mainline connections.

The FIM rotation is Busan, Kwangyang, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Singapore, Port Klang, Kattupalli, Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Karachi, Jeddah, (Suez Canal), Damietta, Piraeus, Genoa, Valencia, Barcelona, Piraeus, Damietta, (Suez Canal), Jeddah, Karachi, Mundra, Nhava Sheva, Kattupalli, Singapore, Da Chan Bay and back to Busan.

In addition, CMA CGM has opened a new string out of Adani Ennore Container Terminal (AECTPL) for North Europe and the Mediterranean. The NEMO [North Europe-Mediterranean-Oceania] Service rotates Ennore, Colombo, Malta, Valencia, London Gateway, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Le Havre, Fos Sur Mer, La Spezia, Malta, Pointe Des Galets, Port Louis, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Singapore and Ennore.

“This new call will offer our customers a fast export connection from the main commercial area in South East India to Europe together with a direct import connection from Australia and Singapore,” said CMA CGM in a customer advisory, announcing the Ennore call.

The carrier further noted, “Ennore is also a natural gateway from/to ICD [inland container depot] Bangalore covered with an efficient rail connectivity and will provide a best-in-class service to the fast-growing automotive industry.”

The NEMO competes directly with Maersk’s ME7 Service, connecting South India trade via Ennore to North Europe.

The ME7 port rotation is Ennore, Colombo, Salalah, Algeciras, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Jeddah, Salalah, Colombo and Ennore.

With more call additions, Kattupalli and Ennore have already made sizeable inroads into the Chennai market. According to available data, Kattupalli saw 58,046 TEUs last month, while Ennore handled 59,985 TEUs.

The growing shift of volumes to emerging port locations poses challenges for box terminals at Chennai Port, putting further investment in capacity development there at risk.

Source: Container News


CMA CGM enhances FAL 1 service

French ocean carrier CMA CGM has announced the extension of its FAL 1 service into Poland.

The Marseille-based company said the first sailing Westbound from Asia will be on 10 August ex Pusan with CMA CGM Jacques Saade with an estimated time of arrival (ETA) at Gdansk on 5 October.

The updated FAL 1 service rotation will be Pusan (South Korea) – Ningbo (China) – Shanghai (China) – Yantian (China) – Singapore (Asia) – Algeciras (1/2) – Tanger Med (1/2) – Dunkirk (France) – Le havre (France) – Hamburg (Germany) – Gdansk (Poland) – Rotterdam (Netherlands) – Algeciras (Spain) – Port Klang (Malaysia) – Pusan

CMA CGM will now offer two complementary direct services FAL 1 and FAL 5 from Asia to Gdansk. FAL 1 will offer a direct service ex South Korea to Poland, enabling to offer more space for project cargo and also connection into the Baltic via Gdansk. Additionally, LNG vessels will be deployed on FAL 1 service.

“This CMA CGM product is an additional opportunity for our customers to support our Polish local market development but also inland opportunities to Ukraine – Czech Republic – Slovakia – Hungary,” noted the company in a statement.

Source: Container News


CMA CGM exceeds US$12 million in second quarter revenues

French ocean carrier CMA CGM reported revenue of US$12.3 billion and net income of US$1.3 billion in the second quarter of the year. These figures represent huge year-on-year decreases over the previous record year for the container lines when CMA CGM achieved US$19.5 billion in revenue and US$7.6 billion in profit.

Additionally, the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached US$2.6 billion, translating to a 73% year-on-year decline.

Commenting on the results for the period, Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, said, “As expected, our industry continued to normalise in the second quarter and, despite difficult market conditions, our performance remains robust. In recent years, we have significantly strengthened our two strategic pillars: transport and logistics. On that basis, our Group will pursue its transformation, as it continues to expand and to integrate recently acquired subsidiaries, while stepping up investments to decarbonize its activities.”

CMA CGM noted that the aforementioned results are driven mostly by the Group’s shipping business. The Marseille-based company announced that consolidated revenue from shipping operations amounted to US$8.4 billion, down 47.9% from the second quarter of 2022. Moreover, EBITDA totaled US$2.2 billion, 76% lower than in the prior-year period.

The average revenue per TEU amounted to US$1,491, down 10.3% year-on-year, with CMA CGM handling 5.6 million TEUs, almost the same volumes as the previous year.

“Volumes remained buoyant on the North-South lines, but the Transpacific and Asia-Europe lines were hit by the slowdown in household consumption and dealer inventory drawdowns,” noted the company in a statement.

CMA CGM noted that late 2022 trends continued to prevail in the first half, with “deteriorated market conditions in the transport and logistics industry”.

Macroeconomic forecasts for the second half of 2023 anticipate sluggish global growth given the persistent inflationary pressures weighing on consumer spending as well as the measures taken by central banks in response, and geopolitical uncertainties, according to CMA CGM’s announcement.

Source: Container News


CMA CGM could displace Maersk as second-largest container line

French carrier CMA CGM is poised to overtake Maersk Line as the world’s second-largest liner operator, with its aggressive newbuilding orders and second-hand vessel purchases, according to Alphaliner’s report.

CMA CGM’s current fleet comprises 625 ships of 3.49 million TEUs, while it has 122 ships of 1.24 million TEUs on order.

In comparison, Maersk Line’s fleet, which stands at 4.14 million TEUs, has just 32 ships of 400,000 TEUs under construction. If the Danish operator, which was displaced by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) at the top of the liner rankings in 2022, does not acquire more vessels, by 2026, it will have just 4.54 million TEUs when all its new ships are ready, while CMA CGM would surpass Maersk Line with 4.73 million TEUs.

Alphaliner remarked, “As per mid-July, the French Line’s orderbook stands at 35.5% of the carrier’s existing fleet capacity. Unlike MSC, which accelerated its fleet expansion through newbuilding and by means of an absolutely massive second-hand buying programme, CMA CGM has taken a somewhat different approach and it also procured numerous mid-sized vessels through a tidal wave of charters. This includes both ships from the spot market and new tonnage that will join the carrier upon delivery.”

CMA CGM’s operated fleet first crossed the 1 million TEUs threshold in July 2009 and it took the carrier five years to pass the 2 million TEU milestone in July 2016.

At the time, CMA CGM’s takeover of Neptune Orient Lines (APL) propelled the group’s liner fleet from 1.79 million TEUs to 2.34 million TEUs.

Like MSC, CMA CGM began active purchases of pre-owned ships when freight rates began ascending to historical highs in 2020. The French line has purchased 427,000 TEUs of ships of all sizes. CMA CGM has also committed to 170 vessel charters since the start of 2023 and has been the most aggressive charterer among liner operators.

In a weakening market, CMA CGM might very well let go of older, less efficient ships in 2024, when charters expire. The company is scheduled to receive about 500,000 TEUs of newbuildings from now until the end of 2024.

In 2025, fleet additions will be relatively low at just 200,000 TEUs, before doubling to 400,000 TEUs in 2026. Assuming that half of CMA CGM’s orderbook is for growth and half of it will be for fleet replacement, the carrier’s fleet would stabilise at 4.2 million TEUs in late 2026.

The same assumptions would still put Maersk slightly ahead at 4.34 million TEUs, but the Danish line has repeatedly stated that it does not plan to grow its fleet beyond its current 4.14 million TEUs. Maersk Line has emphasised that its newbuildings aim to replace conventionally-fuelled tonnage with more modern, eco-friendly vessels powered by green methanol.

Source: Container News


CMA CGM revamps EURONAF service

French ocean carrier CMA CGM has revised its EURONAF service, which will now consist of four loops instead of two.

In Loop 1, CMA CGM will deploy three 1,700 TEU container vessels on the following 21-day rotation:

Malta (Italy) – Marseille (France) – Bejaia (Algeria) – Malta

Loop 2 will run between the ports of Barcelona and Oran with one vessel of 850 TEUs and one vessel of 1,700 TEUs. The frequency of the loop will be weekly on a 14-day cycle. The port rotation will be Barcelona (Spain) – Oran (Algeria) – Barcelona.

Two 1,300 TEU boxhsips will be used on the Loop 3, sailing under the following 14-day port rotation:

Genoa (Italy) – Marseille (France) – Alger (Algeria)

Finally, the Loop 4 will be operated by a fleet of three vessels each carrying 1,100 TEUs. The frequency will be weekly on a 21-day cycle and the rotation will be as follows:

Livorno (Italy) – Genoa (Italy) – Marseille (France) – Barcelona (Spain) – Tanger (Morroco) – Oran (Algeria) – Mostaganem (Algeria) – Livorno

CMA CGM said it will now offer expanded connectivity, optimised service regularity and schedule reliability, extensive port coverage in West Mediterranean and better service frequency with four departures per week.

Source: Container News


CMA CGM’s revenue and earnings shrink after last record year

French ocean carrier CMA CGM saw its revenue, earnings and profits plunge in the first quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2022.

In particular, the company’s revenue reached US$12.7 billion, down 30.2%, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) decreased by 61.3% to US$3.4 billion and net income fell from US$7.2 billion in 2022 first quarter to US$2 billion in the first three months of the current year.

Although the numbers are at significantly lower levels than in the previous year, CMA CGM noted that the financial results of the next three quarters of the year are expected to be even weaker. “In this environment, the first quarter is expected to be the best quarter of the year as the Group’s financial results continue to return to normal,” confirmed the Marseille-based company in a statement.

“The fourth-quarter of 2022’s trends remained in play in the first-quarter of 2023, with challenging market conditions in the transport and logistics industry, while freight demand continued to slow, spurring a rapid normalisation of spot freight rates,” added CMA CGM.

Meanwhile, the third-largest container carrier in the world moved 5 million TEUs in the first quarter of the year, translating to a year-on-year decline of 5.3%.

The ocean carrier pointed out that “second-half 2022 trends continued to prevail in 2023, with deteriorated conditions in the transport and logistics industry”, while macroeconomic forecasts for 2023 anticipate moderate global GDP growth over the year, in light of inflationary pressure which is dragging down consumer spending in OECD countries.

However, this may stabilise later in the year, according to CMA CGM, which said that “new capacity delivered over the coming quarters is expected to continue weighing on freight rates in container shipping.”

Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, commented, “After two exceptional years, our industry has entered a phase of normalisation due to the slowdown in global growth, inflation and a destocking phenomenon that is continuing in many parts of the world.”

He went on to highlight, “Despite this deteriorated context, our first-quarter results are extremely solid. They are the fruit of our investments – more than US$30 billion committed over the past two years – which enable us to constantly broaden and strengthen our range of transport and logistics solutions for our customers.”

Source: Container News


CMA CGM launches direct Bangladesh-Middle East service

CMA CGM Group announced the launch of a new service, named Bangladesh India Gulf Express (BIGEX).

The French shipping company said it will be the first direct service that will connect Bangladesh to the Gulf’s Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi, as well as Nhava Sheva and Mundra in India.

BIGEX will begin operating from the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh on 5 April.

Three 1,700-TEU vessels will be deployed on the westbound rotation, Chittagong (Bangladesh) – Colombo (Sri Lanka) – Mangalore (India) – Nhava Sheva (India) – Mundra (India), and on the eastbound rotation, Jebel Ali (UAE) – Khalifa Port (UAE).

CMA CGM noted that the introduction of BIGEX charts the Bangladesh-India-Sri Lanka-Gulf corridor, transforming Bangladesh’s sea lane to the Gulf and India West Coast.

“Characterised by fast transit times, exports from Chittagong will reach Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi in just 14 and 15 days respectively. A more efficient and greener alternative to trucking, BIGEX will get Bangladesh shipments to Nhava Sheva and Mundra in 8 and 10 days respectively,” pointed out the Marseille-based box line.

BIGEX also intends to broaden Chittagong’s access to transshipment centres beyond major Asian ports to include the Gulf and India’s West Coast ports. This broadens market access and shortens transit times, such as for US-bound Bangladesh goods transmitted through Colombo, according to the carrier.

Source: Container News


OCEAN Alliance to upsize Transatlantic lane again

The OCEAN Alliance is upsizing its transatlantic service again by replacing four 8,500-10,000 TEU ships with four 11,000 to 14,000 TEU vessels.

COSCO Shipping Lines, CMA CGM and Evergreen Marine Corporation form the alliance.

On 9 December, the 14,000 TEU Tampa Triumph will become the largest vessel ever deployed in the North Europe – US East Coast trade when it replaces the 9,466 TEU Ever Lucky.

CMA CGM, meanwhile, will redeploy the 11,388 TEU sisters CMA CGM Columba and CMA CGM Cassiopeia to the loop to replace the 9,962 TEU CMA CGM Ganges and the 8,465 TEU CMA CGM Bianca.

These will join the 13,092 TEU sisters COSCO Harmony and COSCO Pride.

Even as freight rates on the Asia-North Europe and Transpacific routes are tanking, the Transatlantic market has held up, convincing the OCEAN Alliance to increase capacity into the Atlantic Basin.

On 23 December, COSCO will deploy the 13,092 TEU COSCO Faith on the TAT2 service, where it will join its aforementioned sisters. The ship will trade for COSCO’s sister carrier OOCL and replace the 8,501 TEU COSCO Malaysia.

At the end of the year, the nominal capacity of the TAT2 service will have increased to 12,675 TEU per week, compared to 8,500 TEU in September.

The upgraded service currently turns in six weeks with calls at Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Le Havre, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, Southampton.

Forward schedules suggest that the OCEAN Alliance will increase the round trip to eight weeks from January. This will help enable the longer port stays of the bigger ships, while it will further reduce sailing speeds.

Source: Container News


CMA CGM’s Containerships launches new intra-Europe line

Containerships, a subsidiary of the French container carrier CMA CGM, will connect the lower Baltic ports of Klaipeda in Lithuania and Gdynia in Poland with the port of Gävle in Sweden and will offer new connections to the German ports of Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven with a new service that commenced on 3 November.

The new product will consist of 40′ and 45′ wide container solutions from Klaipeda to the port of Gävle and from the port of Gävle to Gdynia without transshipment. From and to Gävle the company will offer last mile service by truck or rail and truck to any location in Sweden.

Additionally, the new route is offering new connections to the German ports of Bremerhaven and Wilhelmshaven as well as the Finnish port of Rauma.

Source: Container News


CMA CGM secures its move to larger terminal in Yokohama port

On 26 October, CMA CGM Group and Yokohama Kawasaki International Port Corporation (YKIP) signed a reservation agreement for the Honmokufuto D5 container terminal at the Port of Yokohama in Japan.

This primes the relocation of CMA CGM’s current container terminal operations at D4 to D5 by October 2026, according to a statement.

This agreement promises more capacity at the container terminal and a more than doubling of reefer plugs. The D5 terminal will have a cargo pier with a linear length of 400 metres of quay and a draught of 16 metres.

This is expected to give CMA CGM greater flexibility in receiving cargo arriving in larger vessels up to 15,000 TEU capacity.

The D5 terminal will be designed to provide 20% more capacity in the container yard and approximately 120% more container reefer plugs than today.

Furthermore, it is envisaged that the D5 container terminal will be operated with three dock cranes capable of handling ships with up to 20 rows of containers and up to nine containers high on deck, as well as 11 near-zero emission rubber tyred gantry cranes.

At the same time, LNG tankage facilities will also be developed at the port. In this way, there will potentially be LNG tankage on the French carrier’s LNG-powered ships ready for e-methane, a carbon-neutral fuel source.

Hideki Uchida, president of CMA CGM Japan, commented, “As we prime for our larger vessels to ship more inbound cargoes to Yokohama, particularly fresh fruits from Central and Southern America, the enhanced operational capabilities, container yard capacity and reefer plugs at the D5 terminal is set to take our service delivery a notch up.”

Source: Container News