CMA CGM Group announced the calling, at Tangier, of CMA CGM LA TRAVIATA, a 8,500 TEU ship deployed on the FAL1 service linking Asia to Europe.

CMA CGM LA TRAVIATA is the first CMA CGM high capacity vessel to call at the new Tanger Med I container terminal (TC2) since its opening in August 2008.

Its arrival marks the official start of CMA CGM activities at the terminal where the group holds a 40% share, including 20% through its Moroccan subsidiary COMANAV acquired in May 2007.

Ideally positioned in the Mediterranean, Tanger Med is bound to become a strategic hub for the CMA CGM Group, an inescapable crossroads for goods proceeding from Asia, the United States and Latin America to the Maghreb, West Africa and the southern tip of the European continent.

With its 800-meter quays, 8 cranes and 21 RTG (Rubber-tired gantry cranes), the terminal will soon offer an annual capacity of 1.3 million teus. Its 18-meter depth will allow the berthing of containerships exceeding 12,000 teus ordered by CMA CGM.

FAL1 will have a weekly stop at Tangier on the road between Asia and Europe, offering new transport opportunities between Asia and West Africa thanks to direct connections on two new DELMAS (a subsidiary of CMA CGM Group) services linking Tangier and the major West African ports: BATTUTA 1 and 2.

FAL1 volumes proceeding from Asia will be discharged every week in Tangier and transshipped to West Africa via BATUTTA 1 and 2, while a dedicated feeder network will service the Moroccan and Portuguese markets.

This new offer complements the three direct services CMA CGM Group already operates between Asia and West Africa, i.e.: WAX (Asia / Sri Lanka / West Africa), ASAF (Asia / Indian Ocean / Africa) and AFEX (Asia / Indian Ocean / Africa).

“The launching of a weekly direct connection in Tangier on the FAL1 service allows CMA CGM Group to capture the increasing demand of transport between Asia and the western coast of Africa thanks to an additional capacity of 1,500 teus per week and highly competitive transit times, around 20 days in average between the major Chinese ports and Morocco. Meanwhile, CMA CGM Group is optimizing its capacity on the Asia / Europe trade, a double advantage which bespeaks the relevance of the hub policies in the management of long-distance shipping lines,” explains Nicolas Sartini, Senior Vice-President Asia Europe Lines at CMA CGM.

The terminal has just entered its first expansion phase. Rapidly, new connections will be established on other services operated by the Group, thus extending Tangier’s area of influence to encompass the transit of merchandise to and from the US, Latin America and North Europe.