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Switching Energy Providers In Marseille: How To Find The Best Deals – Could a French shipping giant make Marseille the capital of the Mediterranean? The Sade family has turned a fortune, turning CMA CGM into a strategic asset for Paris and a potential economic lifeline for France’s impoverished second city.
A container ship operated by French shipping company CMA CGM is moored at the Port of Marseille.
Switching Energy Providers In Marseille: How To Find The Best Deals
A container ship operated by French shipping company CMA CGM is moored in the port of Marseille on June 29, 2018. BORIS HORVAT/AFP via Getty Images
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MARSEILLE, France – Towers dominate the skyline Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, looming over the port of Marseille and rising above blocks of clay-tiled roofs and drab housing projects, the sleek glass skyscraper is a beacon of wealth and prestige, all that remains of this work. Class City
A container ship operated by the French CMA CGM shipping company is moored at the port of Marseille.
It’s the headquarters of CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container shipping company — and inside, times aren’t so good. Although it is little known outside of France, the privately held, family-owned firm now commands annual revenues similar to those of HP, Boeing or Morgan Stanley. The Marseille-based giant posted profits of $17.9 billion in 2021, and 2022 is on pace to be another record year, even as the broader industry cools. The one-time windfall has padded the pockets of the company’s French-Lebanese chairman and CEO, Rodolphe Sade, making his family France’s fifth richest as it ranks among some of the country’s corporate geniuses outside the Paris region.
In an industry that has caused headaches for consumers, renewed scrutiny from regulators and is somewhat clouded by mystery, Sade is the undisputed winner. And they are not content to just sit on their profits Rodolphe Sade has dug into new jobs to grow the family business – expanding the firm’s logistics empire, expanding its influence and deepening ties with the French government over the strategic benefits of a major global shipping company based on its home coast. At a time of renewed global crisis and growing instability, CMA CGM offers France the promise of reliable shipping and collection in its overseas territories – topped off by a determined willingness to invest with French state interests.
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When U.S. President Joe Biden rails against “foreign-owned” shipping carriers for harming American consumers, CMA CGM is exactly the type of company his administration has in mind. Global freight rates have skyrocketed in 2021 and 2022 amid rising demand and traffic jams at U.S. ports, with average container prices reaching eight times their pre-crisis levels. The increase in prices translated into huge profits for a handful of European firms that dominate the industry, including CMA CGM: Italian Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), Danish giant Maersk and German firm Hapag-Olied. Cosco and Evergreen are based in China and Taiwan, respectively Together, these six firms account for nearly 70 percent of the international market share
None of them were based in the United States: declining public investment in shipbuilding and the deregulation of the shipping market in the 1980s and 1990s made it easier for these foreign companies to dominate US coasts and routes. (While Florida-based Sealand is Maersk, American President Lines is, despite its name and eagle logo, a subsidiary of CMA CGM.)
Pierre Cariot, a shipping expert at the Cage Business School in Bordeaux, France, said the current wave of profits “wasn’t expected at all.” “Since 2008, profits have been very limited and no company was making much more than the others, regardless of their different strategies. Then suddenly we moved to a connection in which they all started making amazing gains. “
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As the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into global supply chains, people in the world’s wealthiest countries changed their spending habits — none more so than in the United States, where consumers shelled out for imported goods like electronics and exercise equipment. Rising demand and a shortage of available containers led to increased bottling and freight costs at ports.
In a market dominated by just a handful of players, those staggering profits have also fueled accusations of price gouging — and particularly in the United States, where Congress voted to strengthen the authority of the federal agency that regulates maritime shipping. The transporters have denied the allegations.
A container ship goes under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York on May 20, 2021. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images
The jump in revenue has led to a dramatic increase in assets for the owners of the carriers, most of which are privately held. Within a year, the net worth of the Sade family, which owns 73 percent of CMA CGM through a holding company, skyrocketed from 6 billion euros in 2021 to 36 billion in 2022, according to a French business magazine.
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, which publishes annual wealth rankings In France, only LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault and the families of Chanel, Hermès and L’Oreal are worth more.
Yet the firm’s ownership structure means that CMA CGM faces less pressure to pay out coveted dividends and buybacks from shareholders of publicly traded firms. To be sure, CMA CGM’s owners paid themselves a $3 billion dividend last year, with most of that money going to Saades. But Rodolphe Sade, the soft-spoken 52-year-old himself, stressed in response to questions about the benefits of wind, that the shipping carrier has invested most of its earnings back into the company, allowing it to double down on an expansion strategy. The plague had already begun. In addition to expanding its container shipping business, it is more important in logistics in general
The list of recent acquisitions is long After buying Swiss giant Seva Logistics in 2019, CMA CGM acquired US logistics firm Ingram Micro CLS in late 2021. Around that time it bought an entire terminal at the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest port in the US Last year, CMA CGM became the company’s fourth-largest shareholder by acquiring a French parcel delivery service, a separate French shipping company and a large stake in Air France-KLM, as well as a contract to operate cargo flights. In December 2022, CMA CGM announced an agreement to acquire two container terminals at the Eastern Ports of New York and the Port of New Jersey. according to
The goal is, in part, to insulate carriers from the drop in freight costs that has occurred in recent months as global growth slows. “The idea is, when there’s a downturn, if things get tough again, you’ll have assets to sell,” Cario said.
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“Sade’s thinking is, ‘not just to be an actor in maritime transport,'” said Cyril Coutanais, director of research at the Center for Strategic Studies of the Navy (CSM), part of the French Ministry of Defense. The aim is to gradually position itself as a logistics operator, be present in the value chain, upstream and downstream, and control almost the entire logistics chain. “
When talking to Sade and spending time with them, two words come up again and again: The family values ”privacy” and supports “discretion.” Perhaps, that includes their interactions with the press A spokesperson for CMA CGM declined to comment for this story
Request an interview with Rodolphe Sade or make any company official available on the record They declined multiple requests to speak on the record Reached on his personal cellphone, Rodolphe’s sister, Tanya Sade-Jenny, who sits on the board of directors and chairs the company’s philanthropic organization, referred me to her spokeswoman, who declined to answer questions on the record.
The guard approach spans the company’s physical territory Security officers patrolled the sidewalks around Marseille’s CMA CGM Tower, enforcing a no-photos policy on their property. A security guard threatened to call law enforcement while the reporter was taking photos from a public street.
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“[Jacques Sade] was very marked by the seizure of all their assets in Syria,” said a former CMA employee. He wanted to show that he could remake everything from scratch. “
A former CMA CGM employee who worked closely with Rodolphe Saade and his father, Jacques Saade, said the firm’s response was not surprising. Senior leadership doesn’t like publicity, and it doesn’t help that the current chairman and CEO aren’t the most media-savvy. He is afraid. “He’s very closed off,” said the former employee. He doesn’t like to talk to people. He doesn’t look you in the eye when he talks to you. “
In that respect, he is very different from his father, the immigrant founder of CMA CGM who led the company until his death in 2018. Jacques Sade “The company founder was the prototype, very charismatic, very
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