I draw your attention on a couple of points in your article under caption (AS Daily June 15), mostly related to the second paragraph, which reads:
“…it had no access to French trade with West Africa, nor Delmas’ Indian Ocean trades, both significant elements of the French colonial empire prior to the 1960s. CMA CGM obviously has a distinct advantage throughout the French-speaking world, which grew to be second in size only to the English-speaking British colonial empire. Former colonies include Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon and Vietnam, with current possessions retained as external French territories in South America (French Guyana), the Caribbean Islands, and Islands in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. In addition there are French-speaking settlers in various other countries such as Canada.”
This section may be corrected on two points:
Major French colonies, as well as “protectorates,” also included Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Burkina Fasso (“Haute Volta”), Mali, Togo, Guinée, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville in West Africa, Madagascar and Djibouti in East Africa, as well as Cambodia and Laos in South Asia (which, together with Vietnam, were administered as the “Union Indochinoise”).
In parallel to Delmas, CGM had been serving Africa since the end of the 19th century. First, East Africa, based on the former French territories and colonies of Madagascar, Réunion, Comores and Djibouti, as well as the East African countries; actually CGM, and its predecessor company Messageries Maritimes (“MM”) was the main carrier between Europe and East Africa/Indian Ocean, with the other French carrier NCHP (“Nouvelle Compagnie Havraise Péninsulaire”) which was sold in the 1980s by the Worms group to Delmas. Then, CGM, formerly MM, was also the main French carrier to South Africa, and served some West African way ports with its South African services, although to a much smaller extent than East African ports.
It could also be noted as a matter of comparison that, unlike in the U.S. with the Jones Act, there is no law in France (and, more broadly in Europe) that reserves intra-national shipping to national companies operating domestically built ships manned exclusively by nationals, whether for commercial and for defense/military logistics purpose, i.e. that shipping services to and from French overseas territories are fully open to multinational competition.
Eventually, while this article details CMA CGM’s various “French connections,” it could be worth noting that, as mentioned periodically by CMA CGM’s management, the trades related to France and its existing overseas territories represent only about 5 percent of CMA CGM’s sales. – Louis J. Le Gendre, management consultant, International Shipping & Logistics, Chatham, N.J.