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Coordinates: 43°18′54″N 5°21′58″E / 43.314892°N 5.366006°E / 43.314892; 5.366006

Société Anonyme
Industry Containerization
Founded 1978
Founder Jacques Saadé
Headquarters CMA CGM Tower
, France
Number of locations
650 offices/agencies
Area served
Key people
Jacques R. Saadé (Group Chairman & CEO)
Products Container shipping
Revenue $15.9 billion (2013)
Number of employees
Subsidiaries List of Subsidiaries
Footnotes / references

CMA CGM S.A. is a French container transportation and shipping company, headed by Jacques Saadé. It is the third largest container company in the world,[2] using 170 shipping routes between 400 ports in 150 different countries.[3] Its headquarters are in Marseille,[4] and its North American headquarters are in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.


CMA CGM container loaded on a truck to be delivered to Alexandria port, Egypt

Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM) The history of CMA CGM can be traced back to the middle of the 19th Century, when two major French shipping lines were created, respectively Messageries Maritimes (MM) in 1851 and Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM) in 1855, soon renamed Compagnie Générale Transatlantique in 1861. Both companies were created partly with the backing of the French State, through the award of mail contracts to various destinations, French colonies and overseas territories as well as foreign countries. After the two World Wars, the two companies became "State owned corporations of the competitive sector" ("Entreprise publique du secteur concurrentiel "), i.e. companies that, while owned by the State, were run as private for-profit businesses operating in competitive markets. The French government, under President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, progressively merged the two companies between 1974 and 1977 to form Compagnie Générale Maritime, which was still owned by the French State and still run as a competitive business, although sometimes subject to political pressure, for instance on the selection of shipyards to build new ships.

Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM) operated as such from 1974 to 1996 when it was privatized by the French State under President Jacques Chirac and prime Minister Alain Juppé. During these 22 years it operated freight and container liner services in various global trade lanes, as well as a fleet of dry bulk ships, and a few large oil tankers and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tankers, with headquarters located in Paris western suburbs, first in Paris-La Defense, then in close-by Suresnes.

The CGM liner services, mostly containerized but also operating a significant fleet of "Con-Ro" vessels able to load Roll-on/roll-off cargoes, were re-structured from the two parent companies' main trade lanes, i.e. Western trade lanes (Americas) for Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT) and Eastern trade lanes (Asia, East Africa, Pacific, plus Eastern South America for Messageries Maritimes (MM). After merger and re-structure, CGM's liner services were managed in four distinct Trade Divisions, North America & Far East ("AMNEO", for Amérique du Nord & Extrême Orient) which also managed the bulk and tanker fleets, South America & Caribbean ("AMLAT"), Pacific & Indian Ocean ("PACOI") and Short Sea Trades ("Cabotage").

Separately, Mr. Jacques Saadé had created CMA in 1978 as an intra-Mediterranean liner service operator, based in Marseille. In 1996, CGM was privatized and sold to Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement (CMA) to form CMA CGM.[5]

In 1998 the combined company purchased Australian National Lines (ANL).

Container ship CMA CGM Balzac in the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium

CMA CGM acquired its French rival Delmas based in Le Havre from the Bolloré group in September 2005 for 600 million Euros. The acquisition was completed in early January 5, 2006. The resulting corporation became the third largest container company in the world behind the Danish A.P. Moller-Maersk Group and the Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A..[6]

On April 4, 2008, pirates seized the CMA CGM luxury cruise ship "Le Ponant" off the coast of Somalia.

CMA CGM and its affiliates have been victimized in various arms-shipping incidents.

  • November 2009: South Africa seized arms traveling from North Korea by way of China. The seizure amounted to two containers filled with tank parts and other military equipment from North Korea, which included “gun sights, tracks and other spare parts for T-54 and T-55 tanks and other war material valued at an estimated $750,000.” The military equipment was concealed in containers lined with sacks of rice and shipping documents identified the cargo as spare parts for a “bulldozer”. According to the report, the containers were originally loaded in Dalian, China onto the CMA CGM Musca, a UK-flagged container ship. The shipment was reportedly destined for Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo.[7][8]
  • July 2009: The United Arab Emirates seized a shipment of weapons from North Korea destined for Iran. The shipment was made in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1874, which bans all North Korean Arms exports. The weapons, which included RPGs, detonators, ammunition, and rocket propellant, were shipped by a Bahamian-flagged vessel of ANL Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of CMA CGM.[9][10]
  • October 2010: Nigerian authorities seized 13 shipping containers carrying illegal Iranian weaponry at Lagos’ Apapa Port. The containers included 107 mm artillery rockets (Katyushas), explosives and rifle ammunition. The arms were to be shipped next to The Gambia, with the final destination of the cargo possibly the Gaza Strip. The MV CMA CGM Everest originally picked up the containers from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. CMA CGM says it was victim of a false cargo declaration, claiming the weapons were shipped in packages labeled as "glass wool and pallets of stone" and that the Iranian shipper "does not appear on any forbidden persons listing".[11]
  • March 2011: Israeli forces intercepted the vessel Victoria in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, stating that it was carrying weapons by Iran via Syria. According to Israeli officials, the arms shipments included "roughly 2,500 mortar shells, nearly 75,000 bullets and six C-704 anti-ship missiles". Israel said the ultimate destination of the cargo was for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.[12] CMA CGM, which chartered the vessel, stated, "The ship's manifests do not show any cargo in contravention [of] international regulations, and we do not have any more information at this stage."[13]

As a result of CMA CGM's involvement in Iranian weapons smuggling, US congressmen have called on CMA CGM to be investigated and urged the US Treasury Department to consider levying sanctions against the shipper.[14] The company has since implemented tighter procedures for accepting shipments bound for Iran,[15] including scanning all containers destined the country.[16] CMA CGM also ceased exporting from Iran from November 2011.[16]

In 2014, CMA CGM signs the OCEAN THREE agreements. The group strengthens its offer by signing major agreements on the biggest worldwide maritime trades with CSCL and UASC.

In April 2015, the group acquired a strategic stake in LCL Logistix, a logistics leader in India, via its subsidiary CMA CGM LOG.

Key Figures[17][edit]

CMA CGM Nevada in the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium
teus : (twenty-foot equivalent units)
CMA CGM 2015
Total Revenue USD 16.7 billion (2014)
Number of containers carried 12.2 million teus*
Total fleet vessel 465
Total fleet capacity 1.648 million teus*
Staff Worldwide 22,000 employees
Staff in France 4,500 employees
World ranking 3rd


CMA CGM Tower constructed in Marseille

Other maritime activities

  • Australian National Lines ANL (Oceania, Asia, Europe & US trades)
  • Delmas (container and RoRo line)
  • MacAndrews (Iberian Peninsula shipping and travel industry services)
  • Comanav (passenger ferry and container services from Morocco to Europe)
  • U.S. Lines (US-based trans-Pacific container lines)
  • Cheng-Lie Navigation Co. Ltd (Intra-Asia container line based in Taiwan)
  • OPDR (Short Sea Shipping Company)

Terminal activities

  • Terminal Link - container terminals developer and operator, ranked N°12 worldwide
  • CMA Terminals Holding

Intermodal activities and logistics

  • Progeco (container: sales, leasing & repairing)
  • CMA CGM Logistics (purchase to delivery global carrier)
  • Greenmodal Transport
  • Rail Link (multimodal rail-bound transport solutions)
  • River Shuttle Containers (Rhône – Saône axis containerised river transportation)

Support activities

  • CMA Ships (a wholly owned subsidiary managing all fleet-related operations)

Joint Ventures[edit]


In 2015, CMA CGM's fleet gathers: - 445 vessels - 2,244,509 container TEUs - 185,000 reefer containers

This fleet sails 170 maritime services and calls 400 ports in 160 countries - there are 521 commercial ports in the worlds at the moment.

Some emblematic group's vessels are: - the CMA CGM Jules Verne (16,000 TEUs) was baptized in June 2013 by the French President François Hollande. At that time, this vessel sailing under French flag was the world's biggest containership - the CMA CGM Kerguelen (18,000 teus) - The CMA CGM Vasco de Gama (18,000 teus) - The CMA CGM Bougainville (18,000 teus)

CMA CGM Corporate Foundation for Children[edit]

Created in 2005, the CMA CGM Corporate Foundation for Children's objective is to improve the well-being of children. It defined 3 different targets: - To improve the everyday lives of children who are ill - To promote equal opportunities for children coming from underpriviledged backgrounds - To encourage the personal development of children with disabilities


  1. ^ "About Us". CMA CGM. 
  2. ^ Careers at CMA CGM
  3. ^ "CMA CGM website". 
  4. ^ "Contact." GMA CGM. Retrieved on 22 September 2011. "CMA CGM Marseille Head Office 4, quai d'Arenc 13235 Marseille cedex 02 France "
  5. ^ Renaud Lecade (2005-07-19). "Touché-coulé chez les frères Saadé" (reprint) (in French). Libération. 
  6. ^ CMA CGM completes the acquisition of Delmas, Jan. 10, 2006, CMA CGM press release.
  7. ^ Jor Lauria, Gordon Fairclough and Peter Wonacott (26 February 2010). "Pretoria Seized North Korean Weapons". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Edith Lederer (25 February 2010). "South Africa reports NKorea sanctions violation". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Peter Spiegel and Chip Cummins (31 August 2009). "Cargo of North Korea Matériel Is Seized en Route to Iran". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Joby Warrick (3 December 2009). "Arms smuggling heightens Iran fears". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Jon Gambrell (30 October 2010). "Nigeria: Shipper confirms weapons came from Iran". The Boston Globe. Associate Press. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "Israel unveils seized arms cache from cargo ship". Boston Herald. Associated Press. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Bruce Barnard (15 March 2011). "Israeli Commandos Seize CMA CGM Ship in Arms Probe". The Journal of Commerce. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Benjamin Weinthal and Johannes C. Bockenheimer (30 May 2011). "French ship company faces US sanctions for 'Iran ties'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Regulations and procedures for shipments to Iran" (PDF). CMA CGM. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Iranian arms smugglers using European ship firms-study". Reuters. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Key Figures". CMA CGM. 

External links[edit]

Media related to CMA CGM at Wikimedia Commons