This innovation represents a breakthrough in automobile transport, offering a containerised alternative to shipping cars on car carrier vessels, according to the company. It says it makes service to secondary ports easier and is more responsive to the needs of automobile exporters in terms of shipping schedules and flow.
The car-carrying containers make door-to-door service possible without breaking bulk. Vehicles leave the production line and arrive directly at distribution centres, with no handling in between. Cars are protected from handling or weather damage and from theft. The system is retractable so that the containers can also be used for other purposes.
“Today, about 10m cars worldwide are transported by car carriers, and another 1m are shipped in containers. Flexible and easy to use, this CMA CGM innovation will strengthen the use of containers in car transport and logistics, particularly in developing nations,” said Alexis Michel, CMA CGM’s vice president container logistics.
The first batch of 200 40 ft car-carrying containers is being built and is scheduled to be added to the fleet in late August 2007. CMA CGM plans to purchase additional car-carrying containers by the end of the year, in response to customer demand.