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Rodolphe Saadé fights calls for a windfall tax

Billionaire Rodolphe Saadé came out fighting yesterday, determined to steer politicians in Paris away from pummelling his company with a windfall tax to help households battle soaring inflation.

A growing number of French politicians are calling for a steep 25% windfall tax on some local transport and energy companies, including Saadé’s CMA CGM containerline and TotalEnergies.

Speaking at the French Senate yesterday, Saadé said: “We are putting money on the table and it’s not only charity. We are helping consumers. What I want is that we stop looking at CMA CGM and we start looking at my competitors.”

CMA CGM has responded to French government pressure to help offset inflation by agreeing to cut shipping rates by EUR500 ($510) per container starting next month on consumer goods imported via French ports, as well as on all imports to the country’s overseas territories. Last September, the company also capped its spot freight rates.

In a two-hour hearing Saadé suggested his company was a “patriotic” French champion.

On the markets going forward, the boss of the world’s third largest carrier said: “Some are talking about a recession, I would speak more of a soft landing. This will normalise trade and necessarily lower prices of freight.”

The Marseille-based shipping firm notched up a $7.2bn net income in the first quarter with Forbes placing Saadé in 31st spot in its global billionaires rankings with a net worth of $41.4bn.

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.


  1. Rodolphe SAADE stands tall as the cookie begins to crumble

    The double standards of state after state amaze me. POTUS went after the carriers to deflect the heat of inflation; Macron cane with a begging bowl to CMA CGM-CGM; and now, instead of thanks – they reward nation builders with a hefty tax.

    His question to them of ““When my freight rates were at $350, where were you?” Saade asked senators during the hearing. “We weren’t sure at one point if we would get through the week. No one came to speak with us or say something. We had to figure it out.” is the stuff of legend – and I hope that the maritime fraternity respects him as a “stand-up guy”

    But is the liner cookie crumbling, and are they already beginning to scrap as they have always done. ” Chief Executive Officer Rodolphe Saade told a French Senate hearing Wednesday in Paris. “What I want is that we stop looking at CMA CGM and we start looking at my competitors.”

    They are already battling for market share, madly scrambling to place new orders, and watching as the sand-castle of high freight rates erodes before their eyes. Panic has set-in, and the Forwarders are sharpening their knives.

    Reporting is no longer about congestion and the fractured supply chain, it is all about the smell of blood that inevitable precedes crashing freight rates.

    #maritime #freight #share #tax #supplychain #paris #containershipping

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