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CMA CGM foresees container growth, especially on transpacific

CMA CGM has made a positive forecast for container shipping trades to continue growing especially on the transpacific, despite a stunted start to the year due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The French carrier said the recovery in container shipping seen since April should continue during the third quarter of 2020 for most routes, in particular on transpacific routes, driven by faster recovery in the consumption of goods than of services, growth of e-commerce and the usual seasonality.

With that, CMA CGM said it is confident of improving its operating margin for the third quarter compared with the second quarter.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, our group reported excellent results during the second quarter, thus strengthening our financial structure,” said Rodolphe Saade, chairman and ceo of CMA CGM.

The group posted a net income of $136m for the second quarter, reversing from the loss of $109m in the same quarter of 2019. Revenue went down 9% year-on-year to $7bn due to a slowdown in volumes related to the impact of Covid-19.

“Thanks to our agile business model and synergies between our shipping and logistics business activities, we were able to adapt our service offerings to meet our customers’ fast-changing needs. We have also significantly reduced our costs and benefited from the drop in oil prices,” Saade commented.

Unit cost by teu was down 4.6% compared with the second quarter of 2019, at $892 due to the decline in oil prices, the group’s cost cutting initiatives and the reduction in the fleet of vessels and containers deployed.

CMA CGM said it will continue to monitor the development of the global situation which remains uncertain. However, the group is confident in its business outlook for the third quarter on the back of growing volumes and rising freight rates.

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