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

TypePrivate. Société Anonyme
PredecessorCompagnie Générale Transatlantique and Messageries Maritimes
Founded1978; 43 years ago (1978)
FounderJacques Saadé
Number of locations
755 offices/agencies
Area served
Key people
Jacques R. Saadé Group Chairman & Rodolphe Saadé CEO
ProductsContainer shipping, Logistics
RevenueIncrease $30.3 billion (2019)
−229,000,000 USD (2019) Edit this on Wikidata
Total assetsIncrease $20.32 billion (2018)
Number of employees
SubsidiariesList of subsidiaries
Footnotes / references

CMA CGM S.A. is a French container transportation and shipping company.[3] It is a leading worldwide shipping group,[4] using 200 shipping routes between 420 ports in 150 different countries,[5] ranking fourth behind Maersk Line, MSC and COSCO Shipping Lines.[6] Its headquarters are in Marseille,[7] and its North American headquarters are in Norfolk, Virginia, United States.

The name is an acronym of two predecessor companies, Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement (CMA) and Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM), which translate as "Maritime Freighting Company" and "General Maritime Company".


CMA CGM container

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.

CGA CGM shipping container

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, 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.[8]

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..[9]

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 CMA CGM Musca, a UK-flagged container ship. The shipment was reportedly destined for Pointe-Noire in the Republic of Congo.[10][11]
  • 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.[12][13]
  • 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. MV CMA CGM Everest originally picked up the containers from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. CMA CGM said it was the 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".[14]
  • 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.[15] 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."[16]

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.[17] The company has since implemented tighter procedures for accepting shipments bound for Iran,[18] including scanning all containers destined the country.[19] CMA CGM also ceased exporting from Iran in November 2011.[19]

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.

In December 2015, CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin called at the Port of Los Angeles and thus became the largest vessel ever to call the United States.[20] The container-ship, 1,300 ft (400 m) long and 177 ft (54 m) wide, was inaugurated in Port of Long Beach on February 19.[21]

In July 2016 CMA CGM finalized its acquisition of Singapore-based NOL (Neptune Orient Lines) and its container line APL (American President Lines) after an all-cash offer of US$2.4 billion. The takeover is CMA CGM's largest acquisition and the purchase added 12 percent market share to the CMA CGM group. The Singapore Exchange Securities Trading suspended trading of NOL shares at the end of the offer.[22][23]

Key figures[edit]

CMA CGM Nevada in the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium
CMA CGM 2016
Total revenue USD 16.0 billion
Number of containers carried 15.6 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units)
Total fleet vessels 445
Total fleet capacity 2.208 million TEUs
Staff worldwide 29,000 employees
Staff in France 4,500 employees



Other maritime activities

  • Australian National Lines ANL (Oceania, Asia, Europe & US trades)
  • 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 Singapore)
  • Containerships (Short Sea Shipping Company)
  • APL/NOL (Singapore-based container line)

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
  • 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]


CMA CGM containers on train

In 2016, CMA CGM's fleet included:

  • 445 vessels
  • 3,500,000 container TEUs
  • 325,000 reefer containers

This fleet sails 200 maritime services and calls at 420 ports in 160 countries. There are 521 commercial ports in the world at the moment.

Some emblematic group's vessels are:


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 three targets:

  • To improve the everyday lives of children who are ill
  • To promote equal opportunities for children coming from underprivileged backgrounds
  • To encourage the personal development of children with disabilities

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". CMA CGM.
  2. ^ "Consolidated Financial Statements" (PDF). CMA CGM.
  3. ^ Nouvelle, L'Usine (9 February 2017). "Rodolphe Saadé, nouveau directeur général de CMA CGM - L'Usine Aéro".
  4. ^ "CMA CGM Shipping Group - Merchant Marine & Maritime Careers".
  5. ^ "CMA CGM website".
  6. ^ "Alphaliner TOP 100". 5 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Contact." GMA CGM. Retrieved on 22 September 2011. "CMA CGM Marseille Head Office 4, quai d'Arenc 13235 Marseille cedex 02 France "
  8. ^ Renaud Lecade (2005-07-19). "Touché-coulé chez les frères Saadé" (in French). Libération. Archived from the original (reprint) on 2006-02-08.
  9. ^ CMA CGM completes the acquisition of Delmas[permanent dead link], Jan. 10, 2006, CMA CGM press release.
  10. ^ Jor Lauria, Gordon Fairclough and Peter Wonacott (26 February 2010). "Pretoria Seized North Korean Weapons". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  11. ^ Edith Lederer (25 February 2010). "South Africa reports NKorea sanctions violation". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Joby Warrick (3 December 2009). "Arms smuggling heightens Iran fears". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  14. ^ Jon Gambrell (30 October 2010). "Nigeria: Shipper confirms weapons came from Iran". The Boston Globe. Associate Press. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  15. ^ "Israel unveils seized arms cache from cargo ship". Boston Herald. Associated Press. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  16. ^ Bruce Barnard (15 March 2011). "Israeli Commandos Seize CMA CGM Ship in Arms Probe". The Journal of Commerce. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Regulations and procedures for shipments to Iran" (PDF). CMA CGM. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Iranian arms smugglers using European ship firms-study". Reuters. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  20. ^ "The CMA CGM BENJAMIN FRANKLIN has arrived at the Port of L.A." Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  21. ^ "The CMA CGM BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, the largest vessel ever to call the United States, will be inaugurated in Long Beach today". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  22. ^ "NOL to be delisted after France's CMA CGM crosses 90% ownership threshold".
  23. ^ "CMA CGM closes on NOL takeover offer".
  24. ^ "Key Figures". CMA CGM.

External links[edit]

Media related to CMA CGM at Wikimedia Commons