Shipping lines have never amassed more cash than they have in the past two years — and they’re spending it freely on everything from new ships to airplanes to tech platforms to terminal operations.
France’s CMA CGM Group, which operates the world’s third-largest ocean carrier, unveiled its latest purchase Tuesday night. It confirmed it will buy the terminal assets of Global Container Terminals (GCT) in Staten Island, New York, and Bayonne, New Jersey.
In recent months, the Port of New York and New Jersey has emerged as the country’s busiest import gateway, at least temporarily stealing the crown from the Port of Los Angeles. The CMA CGM transaction involves two of the port’s six terminals.
The GCT New York and GCT Bayonne facilities have a combined capacity of 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units per year.
According to CMA CGM, the Bayonne terminal can currently handle container vessels of up to 18,000 TEUs in size. The company plans to double terminal capacity by 2030 and allow for ships of up to 22,000 TEUs. CMA CGM plans to increase the Staten Island terminal’s capacity by 65% by 2027.
CMA CGM Group CEO Rodolphe Saadé said the acquisition “further consolidates our position in the United States” and “reinforces the services we provide to U.S. customers and their supply chain efficiency.” The two terminals will be operated as multi-user facilities with current management remaining in place.
CMA CGM’s new push in the East Coast terminal market follows its November 2021 purchase of the remaining 90% stake it did not own in Los Angeles’ Felix Marine Services terminal from private equity seller EQT Infrastructure III.
GCT is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund (37.5%), IMF Investors (37.5%) and British Columbia Investment Management (25%). After divesting its East Coast terminal operations to CMA CGM, GCT will continue to own its two terminal operations in Vancouver, British Columbia: GCT Deltaport and GCT Vanterm.
Bloomberg reported in October that GCT was looking for a buyer for the New York and New Jersey terminal operations. According to that report, the assets were valued at around $3 billion and interested parties at that time had included Ports America, Terminal Investments Ltd., Carrix and Hapag-Lloyd.