9 e-methane-ready dual-fuel boxships joined CMA CGM’s fleet in 2022

French container shipping major CMA CGM welcomed nine e-methane-ready dual-fuel container ships into the fleet in 2022.

Illustration; Image courtesy: CMA CGM

The ships pertain to CMA CGM’s $10.2 billion investment in a fleet of 77 LNG-powered and “e-methane ready” vessels of which 32 are already in operation. The company also has six biomethanol-powered, e-methanol ready ships that are scheduled to become available by the end of 2026.

To remind, last year China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) completed and delivered ten 15,000 TEU containerships to its French partner CMA CGM.

The occasion was marked by the delivery of the LNG-powered containership CMA CGM Greenland.

The boxship is a sister vessel to four LNG-fueled containerships CMA CGM Patagonia (delivered in September 2021), CMA CGM Kimberley (delivered in December 2021), CMA CGM Everglade (delivered in January 2022) and CMA CGM Galapagos (delivered in June 2022).

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The company ordered five LNG-powered sister ships from China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s (CSSC) Jiangnan shipyard back in 2019 together with another five 15,000 TEU ships from CSSC’s subsidiary Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding.

The five-vessel series features a container capacity of 15,254 TEU and use LNG as the main fuel.

The remaining five vessels of 15, 536 TEU will be burning conventional fuels and have been fitted with hybrid scrubbers. The TIER III compliant ships have low fuel consumption and include CMA CGM Zephyr (delivered in August 2021), CMA CGM Hermes (delivered in October 2021), CMA CGM Osiris (delivered in November 2021), CMA CGM Apollo (delivered in January 2022) and CMA CGM Adonis (delivered in February 2022).

In addition, the French container shipping major is bunkering biofuels on 32 vessels across its vast fleet and is trialing a new windshield prototype as part of its decarbonization efforts. 

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CMA CGM posted historic results for 2022 with its full-year revenue standing at $74.5 billion, a 33% increase versus 2021 led by the group’s maritime shipping business. The group’s net income amounted to $ 24.9 billion for the year.

“Our group achieved exceptional, historic results in 2022 that have enabled us to invest significantly in operations across our business, step up our energy transition and share the created value with our employees. As trade returns to normal and freight rates decline, our strategy and recent investments will prove all the more relevant and allow us to look forward to 2023 with confidence,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group.

CMA CGM said that it has reinvested almost 90% of its 2022 net profits in its industrial assets and capabilities, while also strengthening its balance sheet and enhancing its financial flexibility.

The company said that €23 billion was invested to grow the group’s business, including €2 billion in France, and that €726 million was paid out to employees for the year.

The group’s most recent investments involve the acquisition of 100% of the Fenix Marine Services (FMS) terminal in the Long Beach/Los Angeles port area, start of its 10-year operation to manage, operate and maintain the Beirut container terminal, and a concession for the Nhava Sheva terminal in India, with its partner JM Baxi.

Late in 2022, CMA CGM announced the acquisition of two strategic terminals at the Port of New York, GCT Bayonne and GCT New York, which have a combined capacity of two million TEUs per year with potential for further expansion up to almost double the current capacity. The closing of the transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals.

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In 2023, CMA CGM plans to pursue expansion into transport using roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ships and expand its offering in finished vehicle logistics, by capitalizing on the expertise of Gefco, which is now part CEVA Logistics subsidiary.

As part of this commitment, the group has formed a new department dedicated to specialty maritime shipping that will comprise:

•vehicle transport on car carriers.

• La Méridionale, a maritime shipping company operating ro-ro cargo and passenger ships (Ro-Pax), which is currently being acquired by CMA CGM (subject to the approval by regulatory authorities).

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• investment in Brittany Ferries, in which CMA CGM invested €25 million in 2021 to support its recovery.

• the future capacity of Neoline, the first wind-powered ro-ro vessel, which the group is helping to finance.

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Commenting on the outlook for 2023, CMA CGM said that market conditions in the transport and logistics industry continue to deteriorate. The balance between supply and demand is expected to remain challenging, as capacity is expected to increase – in both maritime shipping and air freight.

At the same time, demand prospects seem uncertain with dealer inventory destocking in the US, and consumer purchasing power being under pressure.

“Nevertheless, certain macroeconomic signals are stabilizing. In the U.S., consumer spending and the labor market remain resilient despite the very aggressive tightening pursued by the Federal Reserve in recent months. In the European Union, recession has been avoided for the moment. Some emerging markets in Latin America and Southeast Asia remain strong,” CMA CGM said.

“The group is closely monitoring the evolutions in the economic and geopolitical situation, despite limited visibility over the rest of the year, and remains confident in its ability to weather the cycle thanks to the diversification of its businesses and its financial strength.”