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Maritime

Port Picks Up New Carrier For At Least One Shipment

By Johanna F. Still, posted Jan 12, 2022
The Port of Wilmington has attracted global shipping carrier CMA CGM for a one-time delivery planned in March. (Courtesy North Carolina State Ports Authority)

The Port of Wilmington attracted a new global shipping carrier, CMA CGM. The company announced Wednesday it will make its inaugural one-time stop at the Port of Wilmington sometime in March.

Roughly 10,500 containers aboard the CMA CGM COLUMBA will be filled with furniture, household goods, consumer products and construction tools from Asia to be delivered along the U.S. East Coast.

If the trial run goes well and the company sees customer demand in the region, the stop could lead to more, officials said.

The Port of Wilmington has been vying to attract new carriers amid a strained supply chain climate, especially as backlogs in crowded ports frustrate transportation industry officials.

“The port is thrilled that we're going to be working with CMA CGM, and we would love to further our relationship,” N.C. State Ports Authority spokesperson Christina Hallingse said Wednesday.

With eight weekly services, the port has the capacity to roughly double its current inbound weekly volume.

CMA CGM chief commercial officer Rob Kusiciel said the company will look out for customer demand assess its future at the Port of Wilmington. “At CMA CGM, our flexible operating methodology enables us to pivot as needed to serve our customers, which is especially advantageous in the current supply chain environment," he wrote in an email Wednesday. "This inaugural call is a result of our drive to provide customers with creative solutions combined with the proactive efforts of NC Ports Authority CEO Brian Clark and his team. Going forward, customer demand will be key in determining our presence in Wilmington. If it is a success and customers respond, then we will definitely support it on a longer-term basis.”

CMA CGM delivers up and down the East Coast, frequenting New York, Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah and Miami, Tampa, and Port Everglades, according to a company spokesperson. Wilmington marks the company's eleventh East Coast location. 

The company makes 54 total calls a week across its East Coast stops. Citing Port Import/Export Reporting Service (PIERS) data, the spokesperson said CMA CGM is the largest Transpacific East Coast carrier by market share.

Industrywide, carriers are experiencing record volumes caused by unprecedented post-pandemic demand. 

“With robust global demand and a thriving economy, the inaugural call at the Port of Wilmington is yet another step by the CMA CGM Group to expedite the flow of goods into the United States,” Ed Aldridge, CMA CGM president, said in the company’s press release. “Our strategic relationships at ports throughout North America give the group a competitive advantage to efficiently move product and provide customers with end-to-end solutions.”

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