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CMA CGM’S SAADE TURNS AGAINST “HEGEMONY” OF GLOBAL PORT GROUPS

CMA CGM’S SAADE TURNS AGAINST “HEGEMONY” OF GLOBAL PORT GROUPS

CMA CGM’S SAADE TURNS AGAINST “HEGEMONY” OF GLOBAL PORT GROUPS

   Global terminal operators PSA Corp. and Hutchison have built a dominant position in the European port industry that should be resisted, said Jacques Saade, the outspoken chairman of CMA CGM.

   “Today, we see that PSA, of Singapore, and Hutchison, of Hong Kong, are in the process of creating a hegemony in Europe,” he said. “PSA and Hutchison should not operate everywhere.”

   Hutchison, the largest container terminal in the port of Hong Kong and the operator of many terminals in Asia, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean, increased its presence in the European port business last year by acquiring control of Europe Combined Terminals, the major Dutch port company. Hutchison also runs the ports of Felixstowe and Thamesport in the United Kingdom. PSA, the operator of the port of Singapore and of an increasing number of container terminals based in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe, recently took over Hessenatie and Nord Natie, the largest Belgian port operators.

   Saade said PSA now virtually controls the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge in Belgium. He said he now expects PSA to increase handling rates.

   “They have a position of dominance,” Saade said. “They should not be allowed to do this.”

   Saade said Belgian terminals were already very efficient and would not gain from being owned by Singapore-based PSA.

   The criticisms by CMA CGM follow a period of rapid consolidation among global port operators, including Hutchison, PSA, APM Terminals and P&O Ports.

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