Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Container Shipping Line Bought Out By Third Biggest Box Carrier

Fears That Trade Route Overlaps Will Cost Jobs
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – GERMANY – EUROPE – In a move which had been predicted by some, Oldenburg-Portugiesische Dampfschiffs-Rhederei GmbH (OPDR) the short sea specialist group from Germany has a new owner. During a visit to Hamburg CMA CGM boss Jacques Saadé announced the world’s third largest container shipping line had acquired the company from his old colleague Bernhard Schulte but there is some concern that the purchase will affect routes which the French giant currently operates.

In 2002 CMA CGM bought British line MacAndrews from Andrew Weir and the company has a profile which overlaps that of OPDR and consolidation of services would be an obvious cost saver. MacAndrews Northern European links to Spain and Portugal vie with some of the German companies offerings which include the Canaries, Morocco and Scandinavia. CMA CGM says the joint capacities of the two subsidiaries will reinforce the box carrier’s intra-European offering, and its tailor made intermodal solutions.

In 2014 OPDR, which has over 200 dedicated collaborators and a network of agencies and recently moved UK services into Tilbury, expects to carry 240,000+ TEU whilst MacAndrews estimates moving over 290,000 TEU in the same timeframe. Farid T. Salem, CMA CGM Group Executive Officer commented:

“This new acquisition reinforces the Group’s presence on the growing intra-European Short Sea transportation market. This is a continuation of our strategy to broaden our regional network, a strategy which began with the acquisition of MacAndrews in 2002. As with MacAndrews, we plan on maintaining and developing the OPDR company, as well as creating new synergies with both MacAndrews and the CMA CGM Group”.

The new deal is subject as usual to the approval of the relevant regulatory authorities and the obvious overlaps in services between OPDR and MacAndrews means there are likely to be administrative changes as the new acquisition is absorbed into the CMA CGM family.