CMA CGM is the world’s third largest container shipping company. The Group assists a large number of global companies to transport products to their destination in the best conditions possible.
But does all cargo travel in the same metal box we know so well? The answer is no! There are different types of containers, each meeting a particular need. And in some cases the type of cargo is so specific CMA CGM has to think “out of the box” and find a solution other than containers.
Learn more about CMA CGM’s range of transport solutions and discover how the goods that affect our everyday lives travel.
Dry containers: for the majority of goods
No need to be an expert in shipping to recognise the dry container. Also known as the standard container it can be transported by ship, truck, train or barge and is the most widely used at CMA CGM. It accounted for over 90% of CMA CGM’s business in 2012.
A dry container is a metal “box” with a roof, walls, floor, door and lashing points. They are used to transport all types of dry goods that are packed in boxes, cartons, bags, pails or other pallets. From portable DVD players to clothes, most of the items we use every day are imported and exported in these metal boxes.
With their standardised ISO format and lashing point system, they are easy to handle during loading and unloading operations. Goods entrusted to CMA CGM by its customers therefore travel in a secure environment and reach their destination in the quickest time possible.
The standard format is 20’. It’s now the unit the container shipping industry uses worldwide to gauge capacity. A vessel’s capacity or the owner’s performance is measured in TEUs (Twenty Equivalent Unit). One TEU represents a 20’ container (theoretically). For example, the flagship vessel the CMA CGM JULES VERNE has a 16,000 TEU capacity; it is therefore the largest container ship in terms of capacity. And in 2012, CMA CGM’s performance was to carry over 10.6 million TEUs!
There are other types of dry containers. Some are longer (40’), others higher (High Cube) and some can be both. There are also special-size dry containers for certain requirements. For example, ANL’s Open-Side containers can be discharged from the side, while MacAndrews’ Wide containers mean you can load more pallets into one container. For every requirement, there’s a solution!
Reefers: for atmosphere and temperature control
The Reefer (or refrigerated container) is used to carry all kinds of goods that need to be transported under controlled conditions, be it temperature, humidity or air quality.
The majority of products carried in these refrigerated containers are edible, like meat, vegetables, fruit and beverages. For example, if a French wine producer wants to export their wine abroad, it is thanks to the CMA CGM reefer containers that their product will arrive on the other side of the world without losing any of its quality.
CMA CGM reefer containers are designed to regulate the ambient air temperature in frozen mode or chilled mode.
Every CMA CGM reefer container is equipped with a modem in case of any problems to ensure rapid intervention. A GPS/GSM system also ensures 24/7 communication between the container at sea and the monitoring centre on land. The composition of the air, the temperature and humidity required by a product are strictly controlled to create optimal conditions during transport.
The fact we can transport perishable goods to the other side of the world without them losing their freshness is thanks to technologies like those used by CMA CGM in its reefer containers.
What’s more, as a company acutely conscious of the environment, CMA CGM has invested heavily in low energy-use reefers. The Group currently has 26,000.