Bad news for Port Klang as CMA CGM signs up for container terminal JV with PSA at Singapore

“CMA CGM and PSA ST will establish a joint-venture company (JVCo), to be held by them in proportions of 49% and 51% respectively, to operate and use berths as a dedicated container terminal in Singapore, for containers and container vessels of CMA CGM and its affiliates,” said in APL Voluntary Conditional General Offer for the sale.

“PSA’s share of the South-east Asia (or ‘Straits’) container transhipment volume has fallen from 89% in the year 2000 to only 62% in 2015. Singapore’s overall container throughput has fallen 7.8% in the first four months of this year, following an 8.7% loss last year, whereas its key competitors gained ground,” it said. The losses have translated into gains for the Malaysian hubs of Tanjung Pelepas and Port Klang. The chief loser will be Port Klang, currently the carrier’s South-east Asian hub, and its main operator Westport. Alphaliner data shows some 20% of Port Klang’s throughput is CMA CGM traffic.

Alphaliner suggests Singapore’s grip on CMA CGM volumes is expected to further strengthen when the new Ocean Alliance launches next April, given that the new grouping will see the French line come together with COSCO-China Shipping, Evergreen and OOCL.

China Shipping, which merged with COSCO earlier this year, also currently uses Westports at Port Klang as its main South-east Asian hub, Alphaliner noted.

“PSA’s next target will be Evergreen, which currently uses Tanjung Pelepas as its hub in the region. Evergreen will join CMA CGM and COSCO in the Ocean Alliance. The Taiwanese carrier will do so alongside a fourth member carrier, OOCL, which already uses PSA Singapore as its main ’Straits’ hub.