The world’s third largest container shipping company, CMA CGM, said it plans to turn a port on the remote volcanic island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean into a strategic hub port.
Probably better known to French tourists and stamp collectors than many people in the logistics industry, CMA CGM said nevertheless Reunion’s location several hundred miles east of Madagascar near Mauritius puts it at “the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa.”
The company made the announcement Thursday as its vice chairman, Rodolphe Saadé, lay a cornerstone for the new port with the president of the French Republic, François Hollande. Reunion is a department of France.
The local newspaper, Le Journal de L'Ile
, quoted Hollande as saying during during his tour of the island that "globalization is a chance for Reunion."
"With this new hub, the island will benefit from broader world-wide supply opportunities that will renew its shipping focus," said CMA CGM. The island said the port would create new sourcing and export opportunities for local companies which produce sugar, rum and seafood.
CMA CGM said by choosing Port Réunion as a hub, the liner carrier “gives the port a new dimension, not only as a strategic center, where maritime lines from Europe, Africa and Asia intersect, but also as a key element in the CMA CGM Group’s development in Africa, where it already has a strong presence.
“Cargo from all over the world will be unloaded on the island, before being loaded towards new destinations. This agreement will significantly increase the activity of the port,” the carrier added.
CMA CGM said it's committing to present volume levels with incremental increases over time, and the expansion will create both direct and indirect jobs.