Canadian Shipper


CMA CGM will not use the Northern Sea Route

Marseilles, France —  Rodolphe Saadé, chair and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, announced its fleet will not use the Northern Sea Route.

Saadé made the announcement, along with also indicating that CMA CGM will give priority to liquefied natural gas to power its future ships, during a visit by representatives of the shipping industry at the Elysée Palace with French President Emmanuel Macron.

To avoid posing a greater threat to this fragile environment, Saadé said that none of the CMA CGM Group’s 500 vessels will use the Northern Sea Route along Siberia, which is now open due to climate change.

“With this decision, CMA CGM makes the resolute choice to protect the environment and the planet’s biodiversity despite the major competitive advantage this route represents for shipping companies,” he said in a statement.

CMA CGM touted its decision to use LNG power in its ultra-large ships that carry up to 23,000 containers. According to the company, this choice took seven years of development in collaboration with shipyards, suppliers, large groups, SMEs and research laboratories. The first ship in this fleet of nine container vessels will be delivered as early as 2020. By 2022, the Group will have 20 LNG-powered vessels in its fleet.

During the meeting, Saadé also delivered to the President of France, on behalf of the maritime industry, the SAILS (Sustainable Actions for Innovative and Low-impact Shipping) Charter, formalized on the initiative of the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition. Through this charter, the ten French signatory shipping companies, all members of Armateurs de France, commit to implementing specific actions in the reduction of emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, whale protection, vessel energy optimization and performance, and strengthening of relations with the scientific community.

Committed to the industry’s energy transformation, CMA CGM said it is continuously innovating in order to equip its fleet with the most environmentally-friendly technology. Between 2005 and 2015, the Group has already reduced its CO2 emissions per container transported by 50% and has a target to further reduce these emissions by a further 30% by 2025.

“We make these choices to meet the needs of our employees and our customers, who are increasingly concerned about the environment,” stated Saadé. “But above all, we make these decisions for the future, to leave our children a cleaner planet. These are brave, bold choices, which go far beyond purely business decisions. This is a firm belief for us, born out of our family ethos and our strong human values, to make responsible, forward-looking choices. That is how we plan to build fairer, more environmentally-friendly trade, and I invite the entire industry — competitors, partners and customers — to join us.”


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