On 14 September, two French Companies, CMA CGM and Brittany Ferries announced that CMA CGM has agreed to make a €25 million investment in the ferry company including €10 million in quasi-equity. In making this investment the global shipping giant is seeking to support Brittany ferries’ post-Covid-19 recovery. Under the agreement a representative of CMA CGM will join the Brittany Ferries supervisory board.
In a statement following the agreement, CMA CGM mentioned the synergies in freight shipments across the English Channel and to the Iberian Peninsula. It read: “The agreement establishes a commercial partnership between the CMA CGM Group and Brittany Ferries using available cargo space on board Brittany Ferries’ services to the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula. The transportation of goods aboard Brittany Ferries’ roll-on roll-off (roro) ships will help expand the CMA CGM Group’s offering in the roro sector for the Atlantic and northern coast of France to destinations in the United Kingdom.”
“The partnership with CMA CGM will also pave the way for Brittany Ferries to gain more expertise in freight and logistics. It will help the company to adapt more easily to the post-Covid-19 trends in goods transportation, including the transport of unaccompanied trailers, and to offer new transport services so it can better meet the needs of its customers. Through this agreement, both groups will be able to introduce new roro services.”
The CMA CGM investment follows a significant recent expansion by the company in developing a network of freight ferry services based on its home port of Marseilles. These now include several routes to Algeria and Morocco.
Since its takeover of the short sea service and feeder Lo-Lo shipping company Containerships, CMA CGM has expanded that company’s network of services including calls to Irish ports.
Brittany Ferries has now launched its 2022 sailing programme with advance bookings being accepted for sailing ex Cork to Roscoff and ex-Rosslare to Bilbao and Cherbourg. The company has also announced the completion of an agreement at the Port of Bilbao for the installation of LNG bunkering facilities, in anticipation of its first ferry using this fuel operating to the Spanish Port in 2023. Howard Knott