CMA CGM’s New Start-Up Incubator to Secure Partnerships


The CMA CGM Group has created Ze Box, its first international start-up incubator, to develop its existing partnerships and nurture new ones with companies like major e-business Alibaba.

Ze Box, based in Marseilles, France, is part of CMA CGM’s strategy to make digitalization one of the pillars of its development as it looks to advance itself further as the world’s third largest container shipping company.

Located in Le Castel building, the start-up will cover a surface of 800m² and will house, starting June 2018, a dozen of start-ups coming from all around the world to develop their potential.

Ze Box is being launched within CMA CGM’s partnership with the Aix-Marseilles University and the Aix-Marseille Provence Métropole.

It will benefit from CMA CGM’s expertise and from the skills of researchers and PhD students.

The start-up incubator will be headed by Matthieu Somekh, previously Head of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Ecole Polytechnique, a leading French institute for science and technology.

CMA CGM said that a call for applications will be launched “shortly”.

The carrier recently appointed a worldwide team of Chief Digital Officers to support the digital ecosystem in creating disruptive and innovative products and services.

With many new opportunities emerging from the current wave of digitalization throughout global logistics chains, terminal planning and management need to be revisited with a data-driven perspective. Read 'Machine Learning in Container Terminals', a technical paper by Dr Leonard Heilig and Dr Eduardo Lalla-Ruiz, Institute of Information Systems, University of Hamburg, Germany

One of the disruptors is CMA CGM Ventures, the carrier’s corporate venture structure dedicated to investments in innovative technologies.

Another two services that will benefit from the start-up incubator is Nyshex, the first digital marketplace for ocean freight contracts, and e-dray, a collaborative platform enabling drayers to limit port congestion.

Le Carburateur, a startup incubator for the northern districts of Marseilles, will also tighten CMA CGM’s digital strategy by providing financial support to five businesses related to the sea, transport and logistics sectors.

Learn more about how container shipping needs to digitize by attending Port Technology's Container Terminal Automation Conference on March 14 – 15, 2018 – London, UK

CMA CGM partnerships will also benefit.

These include Aix Marseille French Tech, a key player in digital innovation, The Camp, an innovative campus bringing together large companies, start-ups, teachers and researchers, and Infosys, a global IT leader that is transforming CMA CGM’s information system.

On the occasion of the creation of Ze Box, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, stated: “With Ze Box, CMA CGM is accelerating its digital strategy and is developing the means to become the transportation industry’s leader in innovation.

“By combining our expertise with the one of the start-ups that will be hosted within Ze Box, we will develop global innovations that create value for our customers and for CMA CGM.

“Thanks to Ze box, our ambition is to attract to France the best start-ups from all around the world. Its creation in Marseilles also shows our strong will to contribute to the economic development of this territory. “

Read more: The CMA CGM Group has announced the arrival of the CMA CGM Antoine De Saint Exupery — the world’s biggest containership flying the French flag

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