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MSC and CMA CGM to merge services

[ December 2, 2011   //   ]

Swiss-Italian MSC and France’s CMA CGM, respectively the second- and third-largest container lines in the world have signed a broad-based operating partnership. The deal between the two companies, spans several trades including Asia/Northern Europe, all south American markets and Asia/Southern Africa.

It aims to improve performance and service quality and raise operating performance. On some trades, it will also enable the lines to deploy the best ships, while increasing the number of ports of call and frequency of sailings.

Vice president of MSC, Diego Aponte, said: “we are very happy to have signed this broad-based partnership, which will unite our two family-owned companies in the years ahead. The agreement offers us new opportunities to optimise the use of our respective fleets, improve our transit times and increase our performance.”

Executive officer of CMA CGM Group, Rodolphe Saadé, added: “For more than 30 years, our two companies have followed the same trajectory and for a number of years we’ve cooperated on a few lines. Based on this experience and our shared vision of the shipping industry, we have decided to step up our partnerships, which reflect a commitment to long-term cooperation and will enable us to offer customers improved solutions and services.”

The announcement came as CMA CGM announced its third-quarter figures for 2011, in which it said that the global economic environment remained challenging and that there was still overcapacity in the market. The Group implemented a vigorous action plan last September to reduce full-year costs by $400 million, which will deliver its full impact in 2012.

Volumes carried rose by 10% year-on-year to 2,604m teu in the third quarter of 2011, thanks to the size and modern technology of its ships said the line. Over the first nine months of the year, volumes carried were up by 9.4%, to 7.42m teu.