French shipping and logistics company CMA CGM Group is continuing to expand beyond its core business as an ocean container carrier and add to the number of cargo planes it operates for air freight, the company said today.
The move comes as covid flareups and a pandemic e-commerce surge have contributed to lengthy port delays, shipping container shortages, and record high rates for moving ocean freight.
Marseille, France-based CMA CGM said it has purchased two new Boeing 777 Freighters, calling the move a “milestone in the group’s strategic development into logistics.”
Each plane has a payload of about 102 tons and a range of 5,700 miles. That distance is significant because CMA CGM said the long range allows it to make fewer stops and reduce landing fees on long-haul routes.
The company launched its CMA CGM Air Cargo division in February and started commercial operations in March with its first flight between Liege (Belgium) and Chicago, followed by flights to New York, Atlanta, and Dubai.
CMA CGM’s growing air business complements the activities of its logistics arm, CEVA Logistics, which handled 400,000 tons of airfreight last year, as well as 2.8 million tons of inland freight. But CMA CGM’s core business continues to be its 542 containerships, which serve more than 420 ports around the world and transported in 2020 nearly 21 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) containers.