CMA CGM – the world’s second-largest reefer container carrier

Operating in 160 countries through its network of more than 400 offices and 750 warehouses, the group employs 150,000 people worldwide.
Thu 01/09/2022 by Pierre Escodo
CMA CGM’s reefer business continues to expand amid rising global demand for perishable goods.

Led by Rodolphe Saadé, the CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, serves more than 420 ports around the world across 5 continents, with a fleet of 580 vessels. CMA CGM continues to consolidate its position as the world’s 2nd-largest reefer carrier, with 476,300 TEU of refrigerated containers and over 300,000 reefer plugs on board its vessels. The group boasts one of the largest and most modern fleets of refrigerated containers – 20’, 40’ high cube and 45’ pallet wide (32/33) – offering solutions for temperature-controlled cargo to meet every customer need.

Global growth in perishables

The group’s reefer business continues to expand amid rising global demand for perishable goods, with about 6 million FEU of containers transported so far in 2022. While breakbulk is on the decline, containers have made up the difference – a shift accelerated by IMO 2023 and an aging BB vessel fleet. CMA CGM is keeping pace with growth in sensitive products such as pharmaceuticals and batteries, which require reliable, transparent solutions, through a range of value-added services built on innovative technology.

Roughly 40-50% of the group’s temperature-controlled shipping containers are transported below -15°C, with 30-40% transported between -15 and +15°C, and the rest above 15°C. The main commodities handled are fruit (30-40% of volume); proteins such as meat, fish and seafood; (30-40%), and vegetables (20%). Despite the pandemic and the decrease in pork exports to China, perishables remain major growth commodities in the seaborne reefer trade, driven by the appetite for consumption among the world’s growing middle class.

Net zero carbon by 2050

CMA CGM aims to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 and has pledged not to use the Northern Sea Route. In addition, the group is renewing its reefer container fleet with more efficient models and decreasing the speed of its ships. Significant investments are also being made to modernise the ship fleet (biofuel, LNG, etc.). These sustainability efforts have been translated into a set of value-added services for clients, called ACT with CMA CGM+.

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