Monday, May 11, 2015

Container Shipping Line Opens Freight and Logistics Platform in Cuba

As Tensions Lessen International Companies Move into the Island
Shipping News Feature

CUBA – FRANCE – No lesser person than Msieu. François Hollande, the President of the French Republic, was present at the signing on May 11 of an historic agreement between container shipping line CMA CGM and the Cuban authorities to develop and operate a logistics platform on the island, the first ever such agreement for an international group. Cuba is considered to be a potentially rich growth area for trade and CMA CGM has been present in Cuba since 2000 and is one of the only three shipping companies to currently call at the country.

The new development will be co-managed by CMA CGM LOG, the CMA CGM Group’s subsidiary dedicated to logistics, and the site will be on the Mariel ZEDM – Zona Especial de Desarrollo Mariel, the Cuba Special Economic Zone project just 45 minutes from Havana. Overall the ZEDM logistics and industrial project scheme will cover 4,600 hectares of which CMA CGM will operate a 17 hectare plot with AUSA, the group which operates the TC MARIEL SA freight terminal within ZEDM.

CMA CGM LOG is to attend to un-stuffing containers and distribution of goods around the island, export consolidation, container storage and distribution and import/export warehousing requirements. The deal was sealed at the ceremony President Hollande attended in Cuba with Mr Matthias Fekl the French Minister of State for Foreign Trade witnessing Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group’s Vice-Chairman, authorising the new agreement. Mathieu Friedberg, CMA CGM Vice President Freight Forwarding and Logistics activities commented:

“The platform of Mariel’s is a first step in Cuba’s land logistics development. It is also a new step in the acceleration of CMA CGM LOG’s international development, which recently announced the acquisition of LCL Logistix, one of India’s logistics leading companies."

Photo: The Port of Mariel, partially funded with Brazilian money and now reportedly flooded with American foodstuffs after an amendment to US policy in 2000 and a warming of relations between the two countries. Likely to become a major player in the Caribbean trade.