CMA CGM sees double-digit volume growth at Westports

pix_toprightCMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping company, expects double-digit growth for its container volume at Westports next year despite the global economic slowdown.

The target is achievable with bigger ships coming into service, said CMA CGM Malaysia managing director Simon Whitelaw.

“We are projecting a double-digit growth for 2009,” he said on the sidelines of Symposium on Ports and Shipping New Developments in Port Klang on Wednesday.

The company, based in France, has registered 2.0 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) as on Tuesday, approaching the 2008 target of 2.1 million TEUs. Last year, it generated a volume of 1.7 million TEUs.

Among CMA CGM’s new bigger ships set to enter Westports are the 11,500-TEU vessels coming this week and the 13,500-TEU vessels in 18 months’ times.

According to Whitelaw, the company sees Malaysia as a big potential as the country has a balanced portfolio with commodities and manufacturing products as well as a steady balance of trade.

He said despite the current global economic turmoil, the company’s operations in China were not badly affected mainly because of its large office network in the country.

CMA CGM is also trying to maintain its freight rate at the right level although the market rate has dropped over the last few months, Whitelaw said. – Bernam

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