Founded in 1978 by Jacques Saade, container shipping line CMA CGM started out as a single unit comprising of Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement (CMA).
According to CMA CGM’s website, the beginning of the 1980s saw the company operate along the Beirut-New York trade route.
By the mid-80s, the company had already begun to establish itself in Europe, after opening four maritime agencies in Germany, England, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Its first voyage through the Suez Canal also took place around this time and by the late 80s-early 1990s, CMA CGM was boosting its reputation in Asia, particularly China.
In 1995, CMA became the number one French container shipping company and by 1999, had merged with Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM) to become the twelfth largest shipping company in the world.
CMA CGM currently operates one of the largest container carriers in the world – the Marco Polo – which is capable of transporting 16,000 TEU.
It is currently the third largest container line in the world, with a total market share of 8.7% and operates in more than 150 countries globally.
Shipping Liner Insight #3: CMA CGM. (Source: CMA CGM (Nicolas Lemaitre))