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 $16.5 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.

The name is an acronym, which, spelled out, would translate as "Maritime Freighting Company - General Maritime Company".


CMA CGM container

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.

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.

In December 2015, the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin called at the Port of Los Angeles and thus became the largest vessel ever to call the United-States.[17] The container-ship, 1,300 ft. long and 177 ft. wide, was inaugurated in Port of Long Beach on February 19.[18]

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 2.4 billion USD. 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.[19][20]

Key Figures[21]

CMA CGM Nevada in the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium
teus : (twenty-foot equivalent units)
CMA CGM 2015
Total Revenue USD 15.7 billion
Number of containers carried 13 million teus*
Total fleet vessel 471
Total fleet capacity 1.900 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

Terminal activities

Intermodal activities and logistics

Support activities

Joint Ventures


CMA CGM containers on train

In 2015, CMA CGM's fleet gathers:

This fleet sails 170 maritime services and calls 400 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

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:

See also


  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. 1 2 "Iranian arms smugglers using European ship firms-study". Reuters. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
  17. "The CMA CGM BENJAMIN FRANKLIN has arrived at the Port of L.A.". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  18. "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.
  21. "Key Figures". CMA CGM.

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