CMA CGM wins concession of Beirut container terminal

CMA CGM | Port of Beirut

CMA Terminals, a subsidiary of the CMA CGM Group, has been chosen to manage, operate, and maintain the Port of Beirut’s container terminal.  

The concession was awarded following a bidding process and will last for 10 years starting from March 2022.

The group already has a strong presence in Lebanon as it currently accounts for almost 55 per cent of the container terminal’s volumes, since it has maintained its nine weekly calls and transshipment operations there.

Over the next decade, CMA Terminals will invest $33 million to renovate and modernise the facility. A total of $19 million will be made over the first two years alone.

The sum will be set aside for:

  • A complete infrastructure upgrade: refurbishment, replacement, and acquisition of new port equipment.
  • The construction of a new technical facility for maintenance and spare parts storage.
  • A digital transformation of the terminal, by implementing the latest management, optimisation and interconnection systems between the operations and the various operators within the port’s community.
  • Environmental performance improvements through the purchase of greener and eco-friendly equipment.

Following CMA CGM’s acquisition of the container terminal at the Port of Tripoli in 2021, the company became committed to strengthening the presence of Lebanon’s ports.

It has also played an active role in rebuilding the Lebanon economy through its investments in shipping after the country faced a series of disasters over the last few years, such as the explosion that happened at the Port of Beirut on 4 August 2020.

The crisis left 137 people dead and more than 5,000 injured while also leaving Lebanon without its main trade gateway.

The port’s container terminal only suffered minor damage and resumed operations shortly after on 13 August 2020.

In recent years, CMA CGM has introduced various projects announced several investments to create job vacancies and support the Lebanese population. These include:

  • The establishment of its Levant regional office in Beirut
  • The opening of a Digital Hub and creation of a Shared Services Center
  • Supporting Lebanese agriculture and its expansion in international markets
  • Industrial investments amongst others.

Furthermore, the winning of the concession contract to operate the terminal at the Port of Beirut aligns directly with CMA CGM’s strategy of developing its terminal business while supporting the growth and efficiency of its shipping line.

According to the group, this will consolidate its end-to-end service offering and establish greater control over the logistics chain so that it can offer its customers higher-quality, integrated, digital and more environmentally friendly services in a context that requires a comprehensive approach to the supply chain.

“Faithful to our commitments to Lebanon, we will shortly be launching an ambitious investment plan that will transform Beirut port’s container terminal into a state-of-the-art facility that meets the best international standards,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group.

“It will be at the service of the Lebanese people and will revitalise the economic exchanges between Lebanon and the rest of the world.”

In November 2021, CMA CGM also signed an agreement to acquire a further 90 per cent stake in Fenix Marine Services’ (FMS) terminal in the Port of Los Angeles, based on an enterprise value of $2.3 billion.

The group previously held a 10 per cent stake and this acquisition now makes it the sole owner of the FMS facility.

The deal was finalised in January of this year.

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