Container carrier CMA CGM Group is ramping up capacity between Asia and Europe and taking steps to address container shortages and port congestion as demand for shipping service hits unprecedented levels, the company said this week.
Citing the sharp rebound in freight demand since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, company leaders said they are boosting capacity assigned to lines between Asia and Europe by 6% in the final quarter of the year, and will follow that with a 10% increase in capacity in the first quarter of 2021. Additional vessels, loaders, and an import call in Le Havre, France, are among the steps the company is taking to meet demand.
CMA CGM said it is adding a new class of nine 23,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU), liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered vessels assigned to Asia-Europe, three of which are already in service, as well as two extra loaders operating on routes between Asia and Europe, providing more than 9,000 TEU in total capacity, with special departures from China to France and the Netherlands in late December. The added import call in Le Havre is designed to provide greater capacity for the French market, company leaders also said.
The company is also taking steps to speed up the return of empty containers to Asia and cut delays at ports in both regions, including increasing the size of its container fleet by nearly 9% in the second half of 2020 and re-routing services to clear the build-up of empty containers.