CMA CGM poised to order 20,600 TEU trio

MARCH 30, 2015 — Kicking the size of giant containerships up yet another notch, Marseilles, France, headquartered CMA CGM, the worlds's third largest container line, today said that it is finalizing an order for three 20,600 TEU units for delivery in 2017. It did not disclose the name of the shipbuilder.

The company made the announcement in reporting results for 2014 that saw net profit reach $584 million, up from $408 million in 2013, while revenues rose to $16.7 billion from the prior year's $15.9 billion.

t said volumes grew to 12.2 million TEU against 11.3 million TEU, "largely outpacing the market and reaching a new historic high thanks to gains on the leading East-West lines and the strong sales performance by the Group's regional and speciality brands. It said the Asia-North Europe and Asia-North Africa trades enjoyed sustained growth.

In its outlook for 2015, CMA CGM says that the container shipping market "should continue to expand by around 5% in volume, led by sustained growth in the U.S. economy and the improving outlook in Europe, albeit with a certain amount of geopolitical uncertainty.

"The CMA CGM fleet will be strengthened by the delivery of six new 18,000-TEU vessels (of which three owned), twelve 9,400-TEU class vessels under long-term charter and three Group-owned 2,100-TEU GuyanaMax vessels.

"These units will support growth in volumes carried, prepare the fleet for the broadening of the Panama Canal and help to improve operating performance, while lowering unit costs whereas freight rates will remain under pressure.

"The Group is currently finalizing the order of three additional newbuilt 20,600 TEU vessels to be delivered in 2017.

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