CMA CGM drops APL brand in transpacific in ‘simplification’ move


France’s CMA CGM is pulling APL out from its long running transpacific routes and deploying the latter to focus on servicing the US government.

Since CMA CGM acquired Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) in 2016, along with NOL’s carrier arm APL, both CMA CGM and APL have continued to operate their respective transpacific services.

In the latest announcement, CMA CGM said that from 1 October 2020, it will become the sole commercial carrier of the group operating in the transpacific, as a “simplification of its container trade offering.”

APL will move on to focus exclusively on servicing the US government and continue its service on the Guam-Pacific trade.

APL’s flagship Eagle Express X (EXX) and its extended services EXX RailFlash and EXX X-Location will be operated through the CMA CGM brand.

In addition to running APL’s flagship services, CMA CGM will offer over 20 services on the transpacific, providing coverage from Asia to the US East and West Coasts.

“We are leveraging the very best of CMA CGM and APL, two major carriers in the US, to bring our customers an even more focused and streamlined customer experience. This simplification fortifies the group’s number one position in the country while enabling us to build upon APL’s rich heritage of US flag-ship operations and service to the United States government,” said Ed Aldridge, president of CMA CGM and APL in the US.

The current CMA CGM regional office in Singapore will be redesigned as a major regional hub from 1 October this year, and NOL will be renamed to CMA CGM Asia Pacific Limited.

ANL Container Line, which runs services in the Oceania, will become a subsidiary of CMA CGM Asia Pacific as part of the development.

With the new development, CMA CGM said its ‘simplification’ strategy will see APL being the carrier to the US government cargo, ANL in the Oceania, CNC as the intra-Asia shortsea specialist, Mercosul Lines as the Brazilian cabotage expert, and Containerships as the multimodal transport intra-European provider.

Stephane Courquin, head of CMA CGM Asia Pacific, commented: “The reorganisation of our transpacific trade will keep our global network more efficient and diversified.

“The creation of a new Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore demonstrates our dedication to serve the region as we take supply chain efficiency to the next level, leveraging our expertise in shipping and logistics,” Courquin.

Just slightly over a year ago in May 2019, CMA CGM had announced a $1.5bn cost control programme to rationalise its brand structure with APL and ANL, putting APL as the only brand in the transpacific trade where it has traditionally been strong.

Back then, CMA CGM also said the setup will allow the group to “simplify its offer”.



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