CMA CGM Group reported an 89.4% increase in consolidated revenue for the third quarter of this year, compared with Q3 2020.

The French ocean freight and logistics colossus earned US$15.3 billion in revenue for the third quarter 2021.

Group EBITDA came in at US$7.1 billion, representing an EBITDA margin of 46.4% (a 25.4-point increase compared with the third quarter of 2020).

CMA CGM Group chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé said: 

“We delivered very good financial results this quarter, enabling us to continue our development and accelerate our transformation. 

“In an unprecedented context of strong tensions in global supply chains, our priority remains to support our customers with a complete range of solutions addressing their increased needs for shipping and logistics.”

During the third quarter of this year, the group transported 5.5 million TEU. This represented a 2.5% decrease compared with the third quarter of 2020 when global trade rebounded markedly following the end of COVID-related lockdowns in western countries.

The company said growth in volumes is currently constrained by congestions affecting port terminals and inland infrastructures, leading to longer transit times for vessels.

The group said its shipping revenue reached US$12.5 billion, representing a 101% increase compared with the same period in 2020.

EBITDA for shipping was US$6.8 billion. The EBITDA margin reached 54.4%, a 30-point increase compared with the third quarter of 2020, driven by average revenue per TEU of US$2293, despite higher operating expenses (notably bunkers, vessel chartering costs, port handling).

Logistics revenue reached US$2.9 billion, representing a 55% increase compared with the third quarter of 2020.

The company said this was driven by freight management services, and in particular the ocean segment in what was a favourable market backdrop, as well as, to a lesser extent, the continued turnaround in contract logistics activities which had been negatively impacted by lockdown measures relating to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

New Airbus freighters on order

Image: CMA CGM/Airbus

Meanwhile, CMA CGM and Airbus signed a binding memorandum of understanding for the purchase of four A350F freighter aircraft. Finalisation of the order is expected in the coming weeks.

The four new freighters will increase CMA CGM Air Cargo’s total Airbus fleet to nine aircraft.

Airbus chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International Christian Scherer said the A350F would fit well with the carrier’s existing Airbus freighter fleet.

“Thanks to its composite airframe and latest-technology engines, it will bring unbeatable efficiency in terms of fuel burn, economics and carbon dioxide emissions, empowering the long-term sustainable growth of the group,” Mr Scherer said.

“Having an early endorsement by such an international cargo powerhouse as the CMA CGM Group is very gratifying.”

The A350F is based on Airbus’ A350, a long-range, wide-body jet airliner.

The aircraft features a large main deck cargo door and a fuselage length optimised for cargo operations.

More than 70% of the airframe is made of advanced materials resulting in a 30-tonne lighter take-off weight, generating an at least 20% lower fuel burn over its current closest competitor, according to Airbus. The A350F has a 109-tonne payload capability.