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CMA CGM buying large stake in last-mile delivery company

Shipping line will bolt on French e-commerce company to Ceva Logistics unit

CMA CGM wants to provide end-to-end-logistics services for large accounts. (Photo: CMA CGM)

Ocean shipping powerhouse CMA CGM announced Monday it has tentatively agreed to acquire a 51% stake in French last-mile delivery company Colis Privé Group, furthering its spread into the third-party logistics and e-commerce realms as part of a strategy to be an integrated provider of supply chain services.

The third-largest container line in the world by fleet size made the deal to strengthen its large Ceva Logistics subsidiary, which it acquired in 2019. Ceva is investing heavily to increase its service capability in e-commerce, which grew globally at a 16.6% clip last year to $4.2 trillion and is expected to grow by 50% by 2025 to $7.4 trillion, according to Statista. Colis Privé will have access to Ceva’s huge customer portfolio.

Colis Privé specializes in home delivery for more than 200 online retailers, with a network of nearly 110 branches across France and a presence in Belgium, Luxembourg, Morocco and soon in the Netherlands.

CMA CGM, based in Marseille, France, said it will use its finances, technology backbone and international footprint to accelerate Colis Privé’s international expansion.

“The acquisition of a majority stake in Colis Privé is an important step in the development strategy of our logistics activities. This operation will enable us to offer end-to-end logistics solutions to our e-commerce customers for whom the last mile is a critical stage. By leveraging the global presence of our subsidiary Ceva Logistics, our ambition is to develop Colis Privé internationally, starting with Europe where the company is already established,” CMA CGM Chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé said in the news release.

Ocean carriers are using record profits from the ocean shipping boom over the past two years to expand their portfolios and provide more of a closed-loop service with greater shipment control and visibility for strategic customers.

CMA CGM last month acquired the e-commerce division of technology distribution giant Ingram Micro to expand Ceva’s capabilities beyond core contract logistics. The Ingram Micro unit specializes in e-commerce contract logistics and omnichannel fulfillment. CMA CGM last year also launched an all-cargo airline, CMA CGM Air Cargo. It also is finalizing a deal to take sole ownership of the Fenix Marine Terminal at the Port of Los Angeles.

Container lines Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co. are also aggressively expanding into logistics and other freight modes. Maersk in 2021 made deals to acquire Hong Kong-based LF Logistics, airfreight specialist Senator International and two e-commerce fulfillment companies.  

MSC last week made an offer to buy Italian passenger airline ITA Airways.

Terms of the deal with Colis Privé owner HOPPS Group were not disclosed. CMA CGM could raise its share in the future. The transaction is subject to normal regulatory review by antitrust regulators and consultation with labor unions. 

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals and a Silver Medal from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government and trade coverage, and news analysis. He was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He won Environmental Journalist of the Year from the Seahorse Freight Association in 2014 and was the group's 2013 Supply Chain Journalist of the Year. In December 2022, Eric was voted runner up for Air Cargo Journalist by the Seahorse Freight Association. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. He has appeared on Marketplace, ABC News and National Public Radio to talk about logistics issues in the news. Eric is based in Vancouver, Washington. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]