The French President Emmanuel Macron should initiate an international coalition for the energy transition of the transportation sector whose priority will be to develop a more competitive and less carbon-intensive energy source, said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the French shipping giant CMA CGM, on the occasion of the French Maritime Economy Conference (Assises de l’Economie de la Mer).

Rodolphe Saadé namely stressed the need to improve the cooperation of all those working on near-term solutions to replace fossil fuels in the transportation and logistics sectors.

The French President accepted to actively support this initiative, whose first forum could be held on the occasion of the World Conservation Congress to be organized in Marseille in June 2020.

Formalized during the French Maritime Economy Conference, the “Eco-Energetic Transition of the Maritime Sector” project, led by the French Maritime Cluster, the ADEME (French Environment & Energy Management Agency), Bureau Veritas and CMA CGM, is a first step towards this future international partnership.

The aim is to carry out an inventory of available technologies and new developments in ship propulsion. The data collected will help guide and structure future work.

At the same event, Rodolphe Saadé announced the choice of Marseille-Fos as a strategic LNG hub in the Mediterranean to supply its future 15,000-TEU vessels, that will operate between Asia and the Mediterranean from 2021.

With the choice of liquefied natural gas, the CMA CGM Group is a pioneer in the energy transition of the maritime industry. To meet the challenges ahead, we must go even further and work together: maritime, air and land carriers, logisticians, energy companies and motorists, in Europe and around the world. With the support of the French President, France will launch a major global coalition for the energy of tomorrow,

...he said during the discussions.

In 2017, the Group also became the first in the world to order LNG-powered 23,000-TEU ultra-large container vessels. The first of these, the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, was launched in September 2019 and will make an exceptional call to Marseille in June 2020.

As the leading French port, Marseille-Fos thus reinforces its attractiveness by offering LNG bunkering solutions for the supply of ultra-large container vessels, following the examples of the major Northern European ports.

This decision will perpetuate and develop the Marseille-Fos LNG activity, thus creating additional jobs.

Additionally, Rodolphe Saadé decided to transfer its recently-acquired CEVA Logistics’ headquarters to Marseille, near CMA CGM’s global head office.

Recently, CMA CGM became also the first shipping company to decide not to use the Northern Sea Route.