CMA CGM launches air cargo division

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

The CMA CGM Group has created an airfreight division, CMA CGM Air Cargo.

One of the world’s largest ocean liner companies, and owner of third-party provider CEVA logistics, CMA CGM says the air cargo division will provide customers with complementary services.

It will also enable CEVA to access air cargo capacity without competing with its own customers.

The division will be operated by an unnamed European airline, and with four used 60-tonne-payload Airbus A330-200 freighter aircraft. The planes have been operating since between 2014 and 2016.

With a range of 4,000 nautical miles, the planes can travel to most global destinations.

Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, called the launch a “major milestone” for the company.

Previous air freight acquisition

This is not CMA CGM’s first foray into the air cargo market. In October 2020, CMA CGM acquired a 30 percent share in Groupe Dubreuil Aero, a France-based private airline group. It has a stake in Air Caraïbes and French Bee.

At the time, the CMA CGM Group said it would provide logistics expertise to contribute to the development of Groupe Dubreuil Aéro cargo activity through Hi Line Cargo. Hi Line is a subsidiary that moves freight on Air Caraïbes and French Bee’s aircraft. The two companies have modern fleets totaling 14 long-haul aircraft including eight Airbus A350s, which have bellyhold capacity of between 15 and 25 tonnes of freight.

The acquisition gave CMA CGM access to markets in French overseas territories including Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, Reunion and Polynesia.

“The synergy between the CMA CGM Group and Groupe Dubreuil Aéro will notably enable the CMA CGM Group to offer its clients services that are complementary to ocean freight, while keeping a hold on the transport chain in markets served by both groups,” the carrier said in a statement in October 2020.

The Dubreuil group employs nearly 5,000 people and in 2019 achieved a consolidated turnover of 2.2 billion euros. Distribution activities account for two thirds of the turnover and air transport for the remaining third.