CMA CGM Asia Pacific CEO talks pandemic aftermath, sustainability and digitalisation

CMA CGM Asia Pacific CEO talks pandemic aftermath, sustainability and digitalisation
CMA CGM aims to be carbon neutral by 2050

CMA CGM Asia Pacific CEO Stéphane Courquin reflected on the pandemic and gave insight into CMA CGM’s opinions on sustainability and digitalisation at TOC Asia 2021.

Speaking at a webinar during the event, Courquin noted how the COVID-19 pandemic made the limitations of just-in-time shipping and zero stockholding practices known.

Manufacturers and shippers have begun relocating their factories and regionalising production flows as part of risk mitigation.

“We saw this prior to the pandemic and its just accelerating,” Courquin said. “With such trends we need to adjust and adapt our network development according to cargo movement and this is exactly what we were doing during the beginning of the pandemic.”

CMA CGM group also launched a business continuity pact comprising of a set of digital solutions that enabled customers to conduct their shipping fully online.

The ‘my CMA CGM’ platform, in particular, enabled customers to manage their entire shipping cycle while CMA CGM+ ACT enabled its customers to analyse, reduce and offset their carbon footprint.

Courquin said: “As technology advances, business and individuals benefit from the solutions it brings. There is ease of doing business through digital platforms and how easy it has become for individuals to communicate, receive and consume through their smart devices.

“We know that our shippers are no different, essentially we need to create value for them across the entire supply chain, right from the start of their purchasing journey.”

In addition to its digital platforms, one of CMA CGM’s main digital projects to drive maritime transport into a new era is the Smart Ship project.

This projects uses hundreds of censors on board CMA CGM’s ships to research new ways to reduce emissions with predictive maintenance and enhanced security.

CMA CGM also joined blockchain consortium TradeLens and supported start-ups as part of its digital transformation.

Despite the pandemic, CMA CGM group stayed focused on its sustainability developments and has remained committed to be shipping carbon neutral by 2050.

In 2020, the group’s fleet of vessels reduced their overall emissions by 4% compared to 2019 and by 2023 CMA CGM aims to have 10% of its fleet’s fuel to be alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biofuels.

CMA CGM announced recently its decision to support the production of 12,000 tonnes of biomethane, a non-fossil energy, as part of its low-carbon shipping offering.

According to Courquin, this will help CMA CGM’s customers to reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 67%.

In early 2021, CMA CGM chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saade launched CMA CGM Air Cargo, the new freight division of the group.

The first commercial flight took off on the Liège, Belgium, to Chicago, US, route and the second starts operations from Liège to New York and Atlanta on March 28 while the other two aircrafts are set to begin operations in May.

“With our own aircrafts at CMA CGM air cargo we are able to customise air freight services according to customer needs and we are also developing the sea/air offer,” Courquin said.