Thursday, November 14, 2019

French Container Shipping Giant Keeps its Logistics Friend Close

Politicians Welcome New HQ for Freight Forwarding Group
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – When container line CMA CGM acquired CEVA Logistics in May 2019 it was a foregone conclusion that the newly purchased group would relocate headquarters nearer to the parent company.

The move has now been formally completed with a visit by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who came to inaugurate the new global headquarters in Marseille. The companies say the proximity to the Jacques Saadé Tower, the headquarters of the CMA CGM Group located in the same neighbourhood, will promote synergies and the exchange of best practices.

Located in the heart of the Docks, the head office features modern premises and optimal working conditions with an area of 2,400 square metres, 5 meeting rooms, 200 workstations and 2 co-working spaces. In his speech, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said:

“Undoubtedly, CEVA’s installation in France and its future development is good news. It is good news for CMA CGM, which is a remarkable, family-owned company and one of the key players in global maritime trade. It is also excellent news for the company, the city, the French economy and therefore the whole country.

"Our country does not sufficiently understand the importance of the supply chain, the importance of well-organized flows. I think we must defend this sector which represents a lot of jobs, strategic and economic issues, especially for a city and a port like Marseille. Intelligence in logistics is at the heart of tomorrow's economic development."

Following a guided tour of the offices where they met with some of the 170 executives based in the company headquarters, the Prime Minister and the President of the French Region ‘Sud’, Renaud Muselier accompanied by CEVA's CEO, Nicolas Sartini, and Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO, CMA CGM Group, were shown how digital projects developed by the teams in Marseille will help transform the way CEVA operates.

These included a digital platform that will display the carbon footprint of customer supply chains by mode of transportation. The platform, developed in partnership with startups housed in ZeBox, the incubator created by Rodolphe Saadé, will leverage the efficiency of delivery options in the best interests of customers and the environment. The recent collaboration with Wing, a young French company, offering new urban logistics solutions for e-Merchants, was also discussed.

The Region ‘Sud’ confirmed its full support of CEVA Logistics by announcing €1.5 million for digital development of innovative projects aimed at transforming the customer experience. Region ‘Sud’ is officially the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region and President Renaud Muselier, observed:

“We had the opportunity to attract to Marseille the headquarters of a world-class company, in the wake of the CMA CGM Group, which perfectly succeeded in this operation. It is for this reason that the South Region will commit €1.5 million to the development of a digital innovation cluster for CEVA Logistics' processes. As President of the Region, and President of Régions de France, convincing such companies to choose the South region as their location is a win-win situation for the entire region!”

The money pledged is to support two projects in particular. SmartFREIGHT: a solution for Maritime FCL/LCL, Air and Domestic, to manage the complete life of shipments, in particular enabling instant pricing from origin and to destination. This E-Commerce platform will allow for more environmentally responsible transport in the partnership with ZeBox which we have reviewed previously.

The second scheme is a network optimisation initiative piloted by the US intermodal network. The purpose is to redefine, on the basis of current transport, the positioning adequacy of hubs in the Americas using optimisation algorithms. Initial analyses resulted in an optimisation of nearly 3%, or approximately 150,000 miles per month. Nicolas Sartini CEVA's CEO said:

“It's an honour to welcome the Prime Minister and have him officially open our new global headquarters. These offices are at the heart of everything we are doing and the teams based here play a pivotal role in CEVA's future. We are delighted to have been able to showcase some of the new technology projects being developed that will fundamentally change how we operate."

With its new location in France, CEVA Logistics says it will bring additional capacities to the country’s economic development. Locally-based companies will additionally benefit from CEVA’s knowhow and presence across 800 locations worldwide. Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, observed:

“As soon as the acquisition of CEVA was finalised, we decided to relocate its headquarters to Marseille. CEVA will be able to benefit from the entire ecosystem of the CMA CGM Group, such as its incubator ZeBox or its internal university. From France, we will build a world leader in logistics.”

Photo: Mrs. Elisabeth Borne, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Renaud Muselier look on as Rodolphe Saadé removes the Tricoleur from the commemorative plaque ‘Le nouveau siège de CEVA Logistics’.