In 2013, CMA CGM is celebrating its 35th Anniversary, 35 years of successful growth continuously driven by passion, the passion of one man, Jacques Saadé, for the company he built, his passion for the people who contributed to its success, his passion for world trade in which CMA CGM played such a significant part, his passion for the vessels which were built and which growing number and size illustrate the success of the original idea and the drive behind it.
You’ll find below the fourth episode of our saga dedicated to Jacques Saadé’s Group:
The Group initiated a dual process of organic growth, upgrading existing services or opening new ones, and external growth purchasing other shipping companies which were mostly niche carriers with a very strong expertise and always enjoying a key position in their respective trades.
2004, CMA CGM becomes the world’s n°5
In 2004, the Group started to diversify its activities by purchasing Container terminals, a key element to be able to control the logistic chain and deliver the best service to its clients.
Being owner of key terminals, the Group could master the whole commercial operations and guarantee a berth as soon as the vessel arrives at a time when trade growth overcame port infrastructure capabilities generating congestion, a situation aggravated by the growth in vessels size.
Through its CMA TERMINALS subsidiary, the Group now controls 24 port terminals worldwide and has a further three in completion. Malta Freeport and Tanger-Med illustrates the success of this investment policy through their strategic hub role.
2006, CMA CGM is becoming an expert of Africa and World’s n°3
Among the acquisitions of operator, a special mention could be granted to DELMAS which was acquired by CMA CGM in 2006 from the Bolloré Group, thus gaining a strong foothold in the strategic African trades and a century-old expertise in servicing challenging markets.
“Today, Africa is in the heart of our strategic priorities thanks to its dynamism and growth potential. We have the will to reinforce our existing positions and open new ones wherever we are currently absent and our ambition is to be the number one carrier and logistic provider in Africa. CMA CGM, together with DELMAS, the historical operator on the continent, offers our customers access to one of the most comprehensive global service network and our African organization offers added value solutions to specific issues” says Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Executive Officer.
2007, acquisition of CNC, Comanav and US Lines
Simultaneous to this strategy of taking control of operators with high added value in “niches”, Jacques Saadé was ensuring that organic growth continued though in a well-planned process, CMA CGM’s position in trades it was already participating in, was to be consolidated and profitability optimized, whereas new routes had to be opened in line with the Company’s ambition to be a true global operator.