Lebanon Businessnews News

CMA CGM to create
logistics hub in Tripoli
Port has the capacity to handle diverted cargo
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CMA CGM, one of the largest global shipping companies, will establish a logistics hub in Tripoli following the explosion at the Port of Beirut.

“The Group is ensuring everything is in place to guarantee perfect business continuity and to maintain the supply of primary necessities to the country,” according to a press release by the company.

CMA CGM's Beirut headquarters was severely damaged in the explosion.

The Cabinet has decided to use the Port of Tripoli (PoT) and the smaller ports of Sidon and Tyre. Tripoli, as the second-largest logistics hub in the country, is expected to handle the majority of the redirected shipping.

PoT has the logistical and maritime capacity to accommodate the largest containerships in the world. It received a $300 million upgrade 18 years ago and can accommodate approximately five million tons of cargo loaded in 300,000 containers per year. At present, it is only handling around two million tons in 70,000 containers, which means that it is well placed to accommodate most of the overload. “The Port of Tripoli can meet the existing deficit,” said Ahmed Tamer, Director of PoT. “We have an integrated plan amongst the relevant agencies – customs, the port administration, the army, and the ministries of economy, agriculture and health – to raise the operating capacity to seven million tons and approximately 400,000 containers. This is roughly the size of Lebanese import by containers. “We can accommodate all the required stocks of wheat and grain so I can assure everyone that we will not fall into a food or grain crisis.”

CMA CGM, headquartered in Marseilles, was founded by Lebanese national Jacques Saadé. It is an international shipping group ranking fourth worldwide. CMA CGM uses 200 shipping routes to reach 420 ports in 150 countries. Saadé and his brother Johnny created CMA in 1978 as an intra-Mediterranean liner service operator. In 1996, French State-owned CGM was privatized and sold to CMA to form CMA CGM.

Other shipping companies are diverting their vessels to other Mediterranean ports. MSC will reroute ships to Greece, Italy, and Turkey. Hapag-Lloyd is diverting existing calls to Tripoli and accepting no freight headed to or from Beirut. The carrier's office was destroyed in the blast.

The Port of Beirut was a transshipment hub for CMA CGM and MSC. CMA CGM transshipped 71,432 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first half of 2020. MSC’s transshipment volume was 82,268 TEUs over the same period.

“We expect that the damage to the port will significantly exacerbate the economic and food security situation in Lebanon,” said Farhan Haq Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General.
Date Posted: Aug 07, 2020
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