Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Container Shipping Giant Finalises Acquisition of Short Sea Freight and Logistics Specialist

OPDR Joins MacAndrews in CMA CGM Portfolio
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – GERMANY – EUROPE – The European Commission has given its approval, without any conditions, for French container freight line, CMA CGM, through its subsidiary MacAndrews, to acquire German short-sea shipping specialist and logistics group Oldenburg-Portugiesische Dampfschiffs-Rhederei GmbH (OPDR). In order to finalise the acquisition, which was announced last year on November 25, the companies needed the approval of competition authorities from the EU as well as Morocco.

The European Commission concluded that the proposed take-over would raise no competition concerns in light of a number of factors: firstly, the low switching costs for customers, who can also use alternative means of transport, such as road or rail; secondly, the low barriers for new or existing competitors to enter or expand their services by adding new ships or new ports of call to the intra-EEA short-sea shipping market; and thirdly, the low overall size of the affected markets.

OPDR, which is to become a subsidiary of MacAndrews, is a specialist in short sea maritime services and door to door logistics solutions between North Europe, the Canary Islands, the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco. The company employs 200 staff in its different agencies.

In 2002 CMA CGM bought British shipping line MacAndrews from Andrew Weir and the company has a profile which overlaps that of OPDR making consolidation of services an obvious cost saver. MacAndrews offers its clients intermodal rail, road and maritime transport and specialises in container transport via short sea lines, and in European multimodal solutions between the Iberian Peninsula, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Poland, Baltic States and Russia.

CMA CGM says the joint capacities of the two subsidiaries will reinforce the box carrier’s intra-European offering, and its tailor made intermodal solutions. In 2014, OPDR transported around 200,000 TEUs, and MacAndrews more than 230,000 TEUs. Farid T. Salem, Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, said:

“This new acquisition reinforces the Group’s presence on the growing European short sea transport. It is in line with the CMA CGM Group’s densification of the regional network strategy that started with the acquisition of MacAndrews in 2002. As we did with this subsidiary, we want to maintain OPDR, develop it and create new interactions with MacAndrews and with the CMA CGM Group.”

Photo: A flat rack container carrying part of a giant wheel of 325 tonnes and 40 metres high (and worth several million Euros) loading onto the OPDR vessel MV Las Palmas earlier this year. The wheel, with its air conditioned 30 cabins carrying up to 240 people, was to become a leading attraction when installed in the port of Seville.