New York Terminal Photo: Mandritoiu | Dreamstime.com

CMA CGM is pumping $600m into its recently acquired New York and New Jersey terminal operation as it looks to boost capacity by some 80%.

Announcing the investment, less than two months after purchasing the Bayonne and New York terminals, the company said the development was being run in “close partnership” with the states of New Jersey and New York.

Drewry senior analyst for ports and terminals Eleanor Hadland said the acquisition and investment made “total strategic sense”.

She told The Loadstar: “Before the pandemic CMA CGM was punching below its weight as far as terminal operations were concerned, but it has now become really active with M&A, and this seems very positive.

“And acquisition is the right way to increase footprints, there is very little justification to develop new terminals in already established markets.”

She downplayed suggestions that the heat was going out of the east coast following the pandemic-induced boom, noting that with the shift from China to South-east Asia, flows through Suez would only increase, especially with Panama Canal delays.

Data supplied by Drewry indicates CMA CGM acquired more than 10m teu of capacity globally between 2020 and 2024, a figure Ms Hadland described as “massive”.

While CMA CGM itself gave scant detail on how the NY/NJ investment would be spent, beyond noting the “ambitious” strategy would create “1,000 union jobs”, sources said the terminals were currently “under-utilised” and there was scope to increase operations and improve stack density.

CEO Rodolphe Saadé said: “It is a major step forward in our strategy of developing and modernising infrastructures here and around the world. Port Liberty New York and [renamed NJ terminal] Port Liberty Bayonne now rank as CMA CGM’s flagship terminals in North America. They will enable us to provide a better service offering to our customers.”

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