Unique collaboration covering smart ship routing, the maritime energy transition, upgrading of port activities and optimized logistics.

Meeting at the Toulouse Space Centre on Thursday 10 June, CNES Chairman & CEO Philippe Baptiste and Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman & CEO of the CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, signed a unique partnership agreement.

This five-year agreement will call on the respective expertise of CNES and CMA CGM to identify, design and develop innovative solutions together to serve shipping, logistics and the space industry.

A unique five-year collaboration to spawn innovative solutions

Under the agreement, CNES and CMA CGM’s experts will be focusing on a range of topics including:

Smart ship routing to enhance safety at sea to aid crews and closely manage shipping’s environmental footprint. Data on currents, winds and waves will notably help to further optimize sea crossings and make them safer while developing effective management of future hybrid ship propulsion systems.

The maritime energy transition, through sharing of experience with hydrogen and practices for producing, storing, distributing, filling and using this future ‘green’ fuel, exploiting economies of scale to make it a viable prospect.

Upgrading of port activities and infrastructures, employing digital technologies to ease flows and paying special attention to environmental impacts.

Contributions of the space sector to optimizing logistics in order to develop a reliable and sustainable end-to-end service for global tracking of goods.

Under their partnership agreement, CNES and the CMA CGM Group, both members of the French Maritime Cluster, will be working with start-ups and SMEs and relying on their entities charged with supporting business development and start-ups (ZEBOX, CMA CGM Venture and Connect by CNES), as well as on CMA CGM’s R&D teams.

Developing innovative products and services

These focus areas were defined through Connect by CNES, the space agency’s initiative to put its expertise to work in helping firms develop innovative products and services leveraging space technologies and solutions. Analysis has concentrated on seeking ways of exploiting space data and services to enhance mobility management in the maritime sector.

This approach ties in with CMA CGM’s ambition to forge partnerships outside the shipping industry and offer innovative and disruptive solutions to build the shipping and logistics of the future for its customers and to preserve the environment.

On the occasion of this visit, CMA CGM’s Chairman & CEO Rodolphe Saadé commented: “CNES is world-renowned for its space expertise. This unique partnership will cement our innovation strategy, enabling us to benefit from technologies developed by CNES, be it to optimize our operations or to support our energy transition.”

CNES Chairman & CEO Philippe Baptiste added: “Creating activities from satellite data and services for our societies is a major focus of action for us at the French space agency. This agreement signed with CMA CGM, one of the world’s leading shipping and logistics players, is a perfect illustration of our desire to reach outside the space industry, notably to the mobility sector, which is a priority area for Connect by CNES alongside the environment and healthcare. This cooperation will also allow our two organizations to mutually benefit from each other’s excellence.”

During his visit, Rodolphe Saadé was also given a tour of the control room of Cospas-Sarsat, the global system that collects, locates and forwards distress signals from emergency beacons, and the facilities at the French Operations Centre for Science and Exploration (FOCSE). Satellite-based data service providers CLS and Kineis also presented their smart ship routing and space-based Internet of Things (IoT) solutions designed to meet the digital needs of shipowners.