The MD of CMA CGM Malaysia shared with Dalila Abu Bakar, Malaysia correspondent, Maritime Fairtrade, that the country is an important market.
The CMA CGM Group has established a strong presence in Malaysia since 1999. With a current 82 weekly maritime services calling in Malaysia, of which 49 are direct services that call ports in Port Klang, Tanjung Pelepas and Penang, the CMA CGM Group is committed to serving Malaysia’s maritime industry.
CMA CGM Malaysia, the Malaysian entity of the CMA CGM Group, is providing Malaysian customers with more agile and complementary shipping and logistics solutions. This commitment is in line with BETTER WAYS, the CMA CGM Group’s new signature.
Managing Director of CMA CGM Malaysia Ravindra Sahu stressed that Malaysia is an important market for the Group.
Sahu told Maritime Fairtrade: “Besides maritime services, we started offering container depot services in Northport back in April this year. With a land space of 3.2 hectares and an estimated capacity of 220,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU)-lifts per year, the depot is equipped to handle storage, maintenance, and repair services of empty containers.
“Together with our existing depot in Westport that also does flexi bag and containers sales in addition to storage, maintenance, and repair services; customers now have multiple depot options near Port Klang.”
New depot in Penang
Building on the success of its depot operations, a new depot in Penang, the north of Malaysia will open in early 2022.
The depot in Penang, like its depots in Westport and Northport, will provide empty container storage, maintenance and repair services to the group’s customers to meet their export and import container needs.
New digital business matchmaking platform
CMA CGM Malaysia has also recently launched NETWORKING Services, a digital business matchmaking marketplace, a first in the shipping industry.
According to Ravindra, the digital platform matches importers and exporters according to their needs, allowing importers to expand their supply base while exporters access new markets through the group’s global network, which covers 160 countries.
“This is how we help our customers unlock new business opportunities and grow their business in BETTER WAYS,” he said.
CMA CGM’s many footprints in Malaysia
Malaysia is also home to one of the Group’s two main ship planning hubs worldwide. Established in Malaysia in 2001, the ship planning unit became a center of excellence in 2018 as the Group decided to consolidate all ship-related planning activities.
Ravindra said the planning unit manages the stowage planning of more than 250 of the operated vessels with a workforce of around 120 employees, of which the majority is from the local talent pool.
Contract logistics, airfreight, and land transportations are offered through CEVA, a subsidiary of the CMA CGM Group, that has 18 sites located across Malaysia. In total, the Group employs close to 1,500 staff in Malaysia.
Taking care of local communities
Beyond its business activities, CMA CGM Malaysia is actively committed to supporting the communities and environment in BETTER WAYS. Ravindra said a six-month apprenticeship program is currently in the works with a number of higher learning institutes to develop and upskill young talents to ensure sustainability of the local maritime talent pool in the long term.
“At the same time, CMA CGM Malaysia’s employees undergo continuous training, so they keep up with changes, remain relevant and contribute to both personal and company’s growth.
“We believe in working with local talents and engage the institutes of higher learning that provide maritime-related courses with the hope to recruit their graduates. The talents whom CMA CGM hires from local institutions would have completed their studies in maritime operations, naval architecture and nautical studies; and we provide these talents the head start in the industry and facilitate their on-the-job learning,” Ravindra said.
Protecting biodiversity is a key pillar in the Group’s strategy. CMA CGM has partnered with Endangered Species International (ESI) to protect and restore 6,000 km2 of ocean in the Coral Triangle, specifically in Malaysian and Philippine waters.
“This initiative will focus on reducing illegal and destructive fishing activities that threaten corals and will contribute to the restoration and protection of corals at three sites, including between Balabac Island in the Philippines and Pulau Banggi in Malaysia,” he added.
CMA CGM Malaysia also supports the OSCAR Mission (a local non-governmental organization) approved by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia by providing a 40-foot refrigerated container to the Covid-19 crisis operations center in Kuala Lumpur to augment the operational set-up.