CMA CGM’s Rodolphe Saadé warns of more bankruptcies

While expressing pity for his Korean peer Hanjin Shipping, Rodolphe Saadé, vice chairman of CMA CGM, warned other bankruptcies in the liner sector are on the cards in the opening session of the Danish Maritime Forum in Copenhagen this afternoon.

“I believe consolidation is the name of the game in our industry,” Saadé told the 240 delegates at the conference. “We have experienced some in the past few months … I am sure there will be more to come.” CMA CGM’s acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) has been a central narrative in the recent container consolidation story.

Hanjin’s demise was “a pity”, the CMA CGM executive said, stressing that today’s box sector was a “very challenging environment”.

“Protectionism is very difficult for all shipping lines,” Saadé continued. “What has happened to Hanjin is important to all of us, it may happen again.”

Saadé called on his fellow containerlines to resist from further freight rate cuts.

Saadé would not be drawn on when the supply/demand equilibrium would return, but he did call for more idling, more scrapping and for owners to make sure they do not order new ships.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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