Green Shipping: How CMA CGM Got it Right
The world’s third-largest container shipping company CMA CGM is setting an example for other maritime players by pursuing a long-term strategy of emission control. Starting more than 10 years ago, the company managed to lessen the pollution level from their fleet, achieving a 10% reduction in 2017 alone with further cuts to follow in the coming years.
Most recently, it has embraced a new generation of marine fuel – LNG to lessen its vessels’ environmental impact. In 2017, CMA CGM showed its pioneering prowess by ordering nine new container ships of 22,000 TEUs powered by the super-chilled natural gas. This development earned the company the Most Accomplished Ship Owner in the Asia Pacific award at the Maritime2020 Asia Summit in 2018.
During the Summit in Singapore, organised by Wisdom Events, the CEO of CMA CGM in Asia Mathieu Girardin explained why this bold choice was made: “Because LNG provides huge benefits compared to heavy fuels. It reduces CO2 consumption by 25%, but even more importantly, it reduces nitrogen oxides by 85%, sulphur emission by 99% and particulate matter by 99%. So this is, for us, very good alternative and the bunker of the future for our ships.”
Along with the LNG sector, CMA CGM is also investing in scrubbers as a compliance measure to the upcoming IMO sulphur cap. However, Mr Girardin warns that neither LNG nor scrubbers come without a considerable price.
“LNG is an expensive technology, scrubbers are expensive as well, so there will be also an additional cost for CMA CGM – on average of 160 dollars per TEU. And this cost will have to be borne by the shippers coming 2020,” he told Wisdom Events.
The major costs are reiterated by other shipping giants, with MSC estimating that due to IMO’s 2020 new fuel regulations, the necessary changes will amount to over USD 2 billion per year. While the world’s largest shipping company Maersk, having announced its zero-emissions by 2050 goal, expects to spend USD 2-3 billion in the next decade.
Looking further in the future, CMA CGM that celebrated its 40th anniversary in September of last year, concentrates on three main areas for effective operations going forward: heightened focus on customer needs, using digitalisation to improve processes and the aforementioned environment protection, according to Mr Girardin.
One of the ways CMA CGM plans to achieve these goals is the recent agreement to create new digital standards to be used across the industry alongside Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express. As well as the strategic partnership with the logistics company CEVA to accelerate top-line growth and improve profitability.
“CMA CGM is developing more and more into an offer for customers. It means we don’t stop from port to port, but we want to be as strong on the land side as we are on the ocean side,” the company’s CEO for Asia added.
Watch the full interview with Mathieu Girardin here: