CMA CGM Group, the world’s third largest container shipping company and the French market leader, has announced the christening of its flagship, the 13,800-TEU CMA CGM Christophe Colomb, at Terminal de France, Port 2000 here, by its godmother, Ms Christine Lagarde, France’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Industry and Employment, according to Exim News Service.
The first of a series of eight vessels named after great explorers, this giant of the seas is the largest containership ever to sail under the French flag. These very large ships will enable the Group to enhance its business model and improve its competitiveness.
With a length of 365 metres, a beam of 51 metres and a range of 45,000 km, the ship’s exceptional dimensions speak for themselves.
She is also a new generation vessel equipped with the latest environmental technologies, such as:
An electronic injection engine, which significantly reduces bunker fuel and oil consumption, while enabling the ship to operate at ecospeed, thereby reducing carbon emissions.
The CMA CGM Christophe Colomb will eventually be deployed on the FAL 5 (French Asia Line) service on the Asia-Europe trade, one of the world's largest container shipping markets. She will call at the following ports: Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Klang, Le Havre, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.
Launched in early July, the FAL 5 service has extended the Group’s range of shipping solutions. Today, CMA CGM offers 10 services between Asia and Northern Europe, with capacity to carry 22,000 containers a week, thus strengthening its position as the market’s leading operator.
As a French company, CMA CGM has once again made France a player in the strategically important global maritime shipping industry by lifting itself to number three worldwide over the last 30 years. Backed by its 17,000 seafaring and shore-based employees (of which more than 4,000 are in France), the Group is pursuing a growth and development strategy focused on serving its global customers more effectively.
The vessel was christened at a time when CMA CGM Group has confirmed the sharp recovery in its business since the beginning of the year. Over the first quarter of 2010, volumes carried rose 21 per cent compared with the year-earlier period, while EBITDA stood at $380 million, up $640 million year-on-year and in line with first-quarter 2008. Quarterly revenue was up by 29 per cent to $3.2 billion. Second-quarter results will exceed first-quarter figures.
The entry into service of these "giants of the seas" is a major, critically important factor for the Group and its future. This christening is the symbol of a new momentum, with the flagship to proudly fly the French tricolour, stressed a release.
"I’m very pleased to be godmother to the new flagship of the CMA CGM Group fleet in Le Havre, a city that is particularly dear to me," said Ms Lagarde. "The CMA CGM Christophe Colomb is a source of pride for France and I hope that she will long rule the waves."