CMA CGM wins battle for terminals in New York
Two of New York’s major container terminals will be acquired by shipping company CMA CGM. The French shipping company has paid an estimated $3 billion to GCT Bayonne and GCT New York for a combined annual handling capacity of 2 million TEUs. It was announced two months ago that the Canadian owner, Global Container Terminals, had put two New York transhipment companies up for sale. Bloomberg reported that the group was in talks with Maersk and MSC, as well as US terminal operators Carrix and Ports America, about the sale.CMA CGM and GCT have now confirmed that they have reached an agreement on the sale. They are not disclosing prices. The transfer is subject to acceptance of the transaction by the relevant regulatory authorities, so the date on which CMA CGM will officially become owner is still unknown.
CMA CGM sees the acquisition as an important step in its strategy to strengthen its position in North America. “This acquisition completes our portfolio of seven terminals in the US and strengthens our position as a global terminal operator,” the shipping company said in a statement. New York is already a major gateway for the French shipping company on the east coast of the US. Earlier this year, CMA CGM already acquired Fenix Marine Services, which owns five terminals in Los Angeles, Dutch Harbour in Alaska, Houston and Miami. CMA CGM also owns American President Lines and its seven associated container ships, allowing it to operate in the US domestic market. Once the acquisition is complete, the carrier plans to expand the two terminals as soon as possible. According to CMA CGM, the total capacity can still be increased by about 80%. The 67-hectare Bayonne Terminal in New Jersey is highly automated and the more modern of the two terminals, accommodating vessels of up to 18,000 TEU. The 58-hectare terminal located on Staten Island by GCT New York is non-automated, but claims to have the fastest truck turnaround times and highest crane productivity in the entire New York port. The shipping company praised a “highly productive workforce” and has no plans to automate its terminals.