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CMA CGM a world leader in Reefer container transport

Operating in 160 countries through its network of more than 400 offices and 750 warehouses, CMA CGM Group employs 150,000 people worldwide.
Wed 19/10/2022 by Pierre ESCODO
Stephane Nielsen, director of CMA CGM’s reefer department

The CMA CGM Group is a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, led by Rodolphe Saadé, serves more than 420 ports around the world across 5 continents, with a fleet of 580 vessels. Present in 160 countries with about 400 offices and 750 warehouses, CMA CGM keeps consolidating its position as a leader in Reefer container transport. Thanks to its fleet of 480,000 TEUs of refrigerated containers and over 300,000 reefer plugs on board its vessels, CMA CGM offers solutions for all sensitive cargo requiring a controlled environment to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. ​The Group owns one of the largest and most modern fleets of refrigerated containers, consisting of 20’, 40’ High Cube and 45’ Pallet Wide (32/33).  

Global growth in perishables

CMA CGM Group keeps growing its reefer activity in a positive context of global growth in demand for perishable goods. As the breakbulk trade keeps declining due to an aging fleet, there is a switch to containers, accelerated by IMO 2023. CMA CGM also responds to an increase in sensitive products (pharma, batteries, etc.), for which customers want reliable and transparent solutions, driving the demand for valueadded services, most of which are enabled by technology.

CMA CGM reefer operations

Roughly 40 to 50% of temperature control container ships are made below -15°C, about 30-40% between -15 and +15°C, and the rest are above 15°C. The main commodities handled are fruits (3040% of the volume), 30-40% proteins (meat, fish, seafood), and 20% vegetables. CMA CGM is roughly aligned with the market in terms of commodity share. Despite the pandemic and the decrease in pork meat trade to China, perishables are major growth commodities in seaborne reefer trade, driven by the consumption of the world’s growing middle class. 

Net Zero Carbon emissions by 2050

CMA CGM has set the objective of reaching Net Zero Carbon by 2050. It is part of the “Coalition for the Energy of the Future”, formed in 2021 with 16 other leading international companies. CMA CGM is also committed to not using the Northern Sea Route and fighting the illicit trafficking of protected species, for which it has tightened its shipment control procedures. Beyond technology-enabled transparency solutions, CMA CGM is renewing its reefer container fleet with more efficient machines and decreasing the speed of its ships. Significant investments are also being made in a modern fleet of ships. Those efforts are translated into a set of value-added services proposed to clients, called ACT with CMA CGM+. 

Major trends in Europe, Asia and the Middle East

Asia and Middle East are growing markets: Asia on the export side and MEA on the import side. The European market seems stable. But the Ukraine-Russia situation generates issues in Europe and globally, with an impact seen on global supply chains, including perishable products. Another growing concern is about the impact of global warming on production across the world.  

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