Marseille names street in honour of CMA CGM’s founder

Marseille yesterday named a street after one of its greatest adopted sons.

Stretching 2 km from the CMA CGM Tower along the coast to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, the Jacques Saadé Boulevard was unveiled at a cermony with many dignitaries from around the world yesterday.

Saadé, founder of French container line CMA CGM, passed away in June last year at the age of 81.

Saadé was born in Beirut in 1937 and moved to Marseilles and founded Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement (CMA) in 1978. He acquired Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM) when it was privatised in 1996, then merged CMA and CGM which led to the birth of the CMA CGM Group in 1999.

“You have honoured a man and a business by giving his name to this boulevard. Jacques Saadé showed that in France, from this city, we could build a world leader. He gave this country one of its finest industrial jewels. Rest assured that we will always remain committed to Marseille,”said Saadé’s son and successor, Rodolphe, yesterday.

Saadé left his mark on the Provence city with the opening eight years ago of new headquarters at CMA CGM Tower, which, at 147 m in height, is the city’s tallest building.

The first in a series of nine giant LNG-fuelled 22,000 teu box ships due for delivery next year will also be named after the CMA CGM founder.

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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