CMA CGM Ships Lead Procession in the Suez Canal
Worldwide shipping group CMA CGM informs that two of its containerships are leading a vessel procession that celebrates the inauguration of the newly expanded Suez Canal on Thursday, August 6.
The two vessels at the head of the procession, CMA CGM Laperouse and CMA CGM Titan, sail as part of 11 of CMACGM’s main shipping lines transiting by the Suez Canal. Eight percent of the world’s commercial maritime traffic goes through the Suez Canal, which represents an average of one CMA CGM vessel transiting in each direction daily, the shipper said.
Egypt celebrated the inauguration of the new Suez Canal Thursday with 5,000 guests at an international event marking the completion of 12 months of work, initially expected to last between three to five years. The canal was first built from 1859 to 1869.
Part of Egyptian president Al-Sissi’s “New Egypt”, the new Suez Canal aims to tap into forecasted transit growth and the increasing size of vessels. It is estimated that the number of vessels transiting the canal daily will double from 49 to 97 by 2023 in response to the trade growth perspectives and to maritime carrier demand.
The expansion enables transit times for northbound convoys to be decreased from 18 to 11 hours as vessels’ wait times are reduced and continuous and simultaneous vessel sailing is facilitated.
The CMA CGM Group, a key partner of the canal, said it has been crossing the canal since 1983 and expects to have more of its vessels transiting through Suez. In 2014, 637 CMA CGM vessels sailed the canal. The group expects 700 containerships, with capacity up to 18,000 containers each, to transit the Suez Canal in 2015.
“CMA CGM is the third [largest] shipping group in the world, a key partner to the Suez Canal and a major player for the world commercial exchanges.” Said Nicolas Sartini, CMA CGM Group Senior Vice President Asia to Europe trades. “The new Suez Canal finalization is a major event for us. Our vessels use that strategic route serving the world’s main markets each day. Traffic through the canal being more fluid and transit times shortened, our Group will improve its clients’ offer and its service reliability.”
The group also noted that the Suez Canal helps it achieve large reductions in CO2 emissions compared to sailing around Africa. Emissions are reduced by 44 percent on Asia-Europe services and 68 percent on Asia-Med services.