Container shipping size war continues as CMA CGM lines up 20,600 TEU newbuilds

The world’s third largest container line CMA CGM posted a 43.2% jump in net profit in 2014 to $584m, as it finalises orders for the largest containerships yet ordered.

In continued proof that scale is beneficial in mainline container shipping profit growth of 43.2%, last year far outstripped volume growth of 8.1% as the line handled 12.2m teu last year. Revenues in 2014 were up 5.3% at $16.7bn.

Breaking the recent record 20,000 teu capacity containership orders by Mitsui OSK Lines and Evergreen Group, the French line said it was finalising orders for a trio of 20,600 teu newbuildings to be delivered in 2017. The yard was not disclosed.

Early this year the Oceans Three Alliance with United Arab Shipping Corp (UASC) and China Shipping Container Line (CSCL), both of which have newbuildings in the 18,000 teu – 20,000 teu class being delivered. CMA CGM will take delivery of six 18,000 teu ships this year, three of which it owns.

“CMA CGM’s performance in 2014 was extremely robust. By combining operational excellence, disciplined financial management and innovation, we have delivered strong growth in results with one of the industry’s highest margins and an even healthier balance sheet,” commented M. Rodolphe Saade, CMA CGM group vice chairman.

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