ceva bollore
Photo: CMA CGM Group

Executives are not happy within Ceva Logistics: the integration with Bolloré Logistics, announced last week with the news of a restructure, is creating headaches for managers concerned over job losses, reported an insider.

But the infighting is also creating opportunities for smaller rivals.

“In regards to the integration, the biggest issue is the politics,” noted the Ceva source. “We have two leadership teams fighting for position, so the politics and infighting is really out of control.

“The two companies are still operating quite separately, we are on two different systems at this stage and still operating in different offices. However, this will all start to change soon.

“As we are forced to merge, everyone is trying to protect their jobs and teams, hence the politics and poor culture and environment.

“We all know huge cuts are coming, so it’s very uneasy times and it’s impacting our staff and customers.”

According to data highlighted by Loadstar Premium, Ceva Logistics has 110,000 staff on its books, while DSV has about 74,000 – and its ebitda, in a best case estimate, is about twice as high as at Ceva. This makes owner CMA CGM’s pledge not to cut staff numbers seem implausible.

A spokesperson for the ocean shipping line told The Loadstar in March“CMA CGM is committed to not cutting jobs in relation to the Bolloré Logistics deal for at least a year. Moreover, CMA CGM will maintain all the social benefits (of staff) for at least three years.”

But the insider said: “There are still more structural changes to come, and definitely significant cuts.

“The integration has not gone smoothly as you’d expect and, yes of course, there will be significant job cuts. They are making cuts constantly.

“The politics has never been worse. When the deal was originally done, there was a ‘secret agreement’ that the Bolloré management/executives would be the ones to keep the top jobs, which of course is not good for the Ceva employees. However, that hasn’t transpired so far, which is creating a lot of politics.”

The insider added: “It’s a very challenging environment to work in. Ceva has always been a very political place, but since CMA ownership it has got significantly worse.”

They added that this was having an impact on customers, and that volumes were shrinking at Ceva.

Another forwarder, from a smaller company, said the machinations of the big forwarders was creating opportunities.

“I just sit on the sidelines watching them destroy themselves and their customer base with a wry smile of joy. Who needs salespeople when this is how they conduct themselves?

“They are inward-facing with their energy and effort and internal issues, relationships (or lack of) and ‘whose got the biggest swinging dick?’ approach will pay dividends for the agile, smaller, local or regional players like us.”

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