CMA CGM adds 62 ships, reports profit of $5.6B

French container shipping and logistics giant CMA CGM delivered a strong financial performance for the third quarter of 2021 with a net income rising to $5.6 billion from $567 million seen in Q3 2020.

Courtesy of CMA CGM

During the third quarter, the group’s consolidated revenue reached $15.3 billion, representing an 89.4% increase compared with the third quarter of 2020.

As explained, the performance was mainly driven by the group’s shipping activities, CMA CGM said.

EBITDA came in at $7.1 billion, an increase of 317.9% compared to $1.7 billion posted in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

During the third quarter of 2021, the group transported 5.5 million TEUs. This represented a 2.5% decrease compared with the third quarter of 2020 when global trade rebounded markedly following the end of Covid-related lockdowns in Western countries. Growth in volumes is currently constrained by congestions affecting port terminals and inland infrastructures, leading to longer transit times for vessels, according to the carrier.

“We delivered very good financial results this quarter, enabling us to continue our development and accelerate our transformation,” Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, commented.

“In an unprecedented context of strong tensions in global supply chains, our priority remains to support our customers with a complete range of solutions addressing their increased needs for shipping and logistics.” 

CMA CGM believes that the current context will allow it to achieve an even stronger financial performance during the fourth quarter. 

62 vessels added to CMA CGM fleet

In response to strong pressure on supply chains and to support the growth of the transport market in the coming years, the group has continued with its investments to strengthen its shipping, port and airfreight logistics network.

These investments will allow CMA CGM to provide comprehensive solutions and improve the quality of service in order to optimize its strategic development for the years to come while also pursuing its actions to promote the energy transition.

As disclosed, CMA CGM increased shipping capacity between September 2020 and September 2021 by 5.9%.

A total of ten new owned vessels and three new 15,000 TEU chartered vessels have joined the group’s fleet since the beginning of the year. What is more, the company acquired 49 secondhand units since the beginning of this year.

It also added 800,000 containers over 15 months to reach 4.8 million units.

Dual-fuel vessels that promote energy transition

Since 2017, CMA CGM has been investing in dual-fuel vessels that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and allow to almost fully reduce atmospheric pollutant emissions. This represents a first step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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The engine installed on these vessels is already capable of using BioLNG from biomethane (-67% in CO₂ emissions) or synthetic methane (including e-methane). In line with its decarbonization strategy, the group is stepping up its investments and partnerships to introduce innovative solutions. One of these is a long-term strategic and industrial partnership with ENGIE aimed at advancing the energy transition by championing the industrial-scale production and distribution of synthetic methane and BioLNG.

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The company also launched the first liquefied biomethane production project dedicated to shipping at the Port of Marseilles, in partnership with Elengy, Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence and TotalEnergies.

The CMA CGM’s “e-methane ready” fleet currently includes 20 vessels in service and will have a total of 44 by the end of 2024.

CMA CGM strengthens position as port operator

In the current context of global trade congestion, CMA CGM has improved its overall management of logistic chains thanks to several port investment projects launched since the beginning of the year.

Namely, the company acquired 90% of the Los Angeles Fenix Marine Services terminal, one of the largest port terminals in the Los Angeles/Long Beach region and a major gateway for US imports.

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Moreover, it signed a 35-year concession deal for the new container terminal at Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi, and signed a long-term joint venture to equip and operate the new container and general cargo Tahya Misr terminal at the Port of Alexandria.

CMA CGM also acquired a company that operates the Port of Tripoli’s container terminal in Lebanon and a 50% stake minus one share in Spain’s Total Terminal International Algeciras (TTIA) port terminal.

The group holds stakes in 49 port terminals across 27 countries, via its two subsidiaries CMA Terminals and Terminal Link (joint venture).  

Airfreight division expansion

Launched in February 2021, the airfreight division CMA CGM AIR CARGO currently operates four Airbus A330-200F, and will receive two new aircrafts in spring 2022.  

The group has now ordered four Airbus A350F. CMA CGM will be launching airline for this new aircraft. With its technologies and optimized fuel consumption, the A350F will, upon delivery, offer advanced environmental performances in the airfreight sector both in terms of noise and CO2 emissions, the company claims.

The group has decided to make CMA CGM AIR CARGO a French freight airline. In this regard, CMA CGM AIR CARGO has filed an application for an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) with the French Civil Aviation Authority.