New agreement will more than double shipping line’s throughput

Doug J. Marchand, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), announced today the signing of a major new agreement between CMA CGM, one of the world’s fastest growing shipping lines, and the Port of Savannah.

‘Port of Savannah’s designation as CMA CGM’s primary port-of-call in the South Atlantic says volumes about Georgia’s ability to expand capacity and new services,’ said Marchand. ‘The recent dedication of Savannah’s newest container berth, the ongoing increases to our container storage areas and other equipment additions will more than double our container capacity in the coming years.’

Frank J. Baragona, president of CMA CGM (America) Inc, agreed. ‘Excellent infrastructure gives us the ability to easily reach the population centers in the Southeast and the GPA’s commitment to continuous improvements to that infrastructure allows CMA CGM to expand its services in Savannah. We are confident that the GPA is poised to handle the growth in the market, and we expect to be part of the Savannah community for many years to come.’

CMA CGM operates five services and 21 vessels joining major global trade routes with the US Southeast and Midwest via the Port of Savannah. ‘We anticipate doubling our throughput in Savannah year-over-year given the changes in our network and continued strong demand,’ said Baragona.

CMA CGM Group, which encompasses its subsidiaries, ranks third amongst the top 50 global container fleet operators. In 2005, the group transported 5.2 million teus and saw a total revenue of more than $US7 billion. CMA CGM is one of the fastest growing lines in the world, boasting a fleet of about 242 vessels with 73 vessels on order.

‘We appreciate the confidence that CMA CGM is showing in GPA’s ability to handle its container volume now and in the future,’ said Marchand. ‘Our facilities are second to none and well-positioned to handle this growth.’

During the first 10 months of fiscal year 2006, the GPA handled 1,688,719 teus, a 15.4% increase compared with the same period last year.