CMA CGM Group will work with Cuban company Almacenes Universales SA to run a logistics complex serving the Port of Mariel, giving a boost to the island’s effort to make itself a transshipment hub.
CMA CGM, the world’s No. 3 container ship operator by capacity, said it had entered an agreement with the government of Cuba to build a logistics hub at the Cuban port of Mariel as part of the largest infrastructure investment the island nation has seen in decades.
The signing of the agreement between CMA CGM and Cuba's Almacenes Universales SA (AUSA) was timed to coincide with a state visit to Cuba by French President François Hollande accompanied by Matthias Fekl, the French Minister of State for Foreign Trade.
The new platform, which will involve CMA CGM Log, CMA CGM Group’s logistics arm, will be part of MARIEL ZEDM – Zona Especial de Desarrollo Mariel, Cuba Special Economic Zone project. ZEDM is a strategic 4600-ha logistics and industrial project area for Cuba.
CMA CGM LOG is to attend to un-stuffing containers and distribution of goods around the island, export consolidation, container storage and distribution and import/export warehousing requirements.
The deal was sealed at the ceremony President Hollande attended in Cuba with Matthias Fekl the French Minister of State for Foreign Trade witnessing Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group’s Vice-Chairman, authorising the new agreement.
Mathieu Friedberg, CMA CGM Vice President Freight Forwarding and Logistics activities commented: “The platform of Mariel’s is a first step in Cuba’s land logistics development. It is also a new step in the acceleration of CMA CGM LOG’s international development, which recently announced the acquisition of LCL Logistix, one of India’s logistics leading companies”.
With 445 vessels and 12.2 million containers shipped in 2014, CMA CGM is the world’s third largest container shipping company. The company has been focused in recent years on expanding internationally, including the opening of offices in six new countries in 2014 and its acquisition last month of a stake in Indian company LCL Logistix.