The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, is convinced by the potential that lies in the Thai market. As such, it has made significant investments in the country over the past several years and it remains committed to developing its local footprint.
The ocean carrier began 2018 with a bang by launching their new US West Coast service dedicated to Southeast Asia with a direct call at Laem Chabang. The new ‘JAX’ service is one of the fastest transit times on the market from Thailand to the US. The dedicated Southeast Asia loop has direct calls to major Southeast Asian ports including Singapore, Port Klang, Jakarta, Cai Mep and Laem Chabang. Along with the direct call to the US West Coast, this pendulum service also calls the US East Coast as well, offering supreme speed and flexibility to Thai shippers.
This was especially exciting news for the Thai market as this was amongst the first direct calls to the US West Coast that Thai shippers have ever had access to. With all the buzz around the new service, CMA CGM found themselves steadily increasing their market share.
Fabienne Lerda, Managing Director CMA CGM (Thailand) Ltd, said, “Part of Ocean Alliance, this direct service features one of the fastest transit times in the market with a short 19-day transit time to the US West Coast. The reception to the service has been phenomenal and, in response to the demand we’re seeing, CMA CGM was pleased to recently introduce the M.V. CMA CGM LIBRA to the Thai market.”
Ms. Lerda is referring to the M.V. CMA CGM LIBRA calling at LCIT’s C3 Terminal at Laem Chabang Port on March 7, 2019. The previous size of the vessels on the JAX service was a mix of 8,500 – 9,500 TEUs and with an upgrade to the entire fleet the CMA CGM LIBRA with her 11,400 TEU capacity is now officially the largest CMA CGM vessel to ever call a Thai port. Along with a handful of other vessels in this range, the upgrades to the JAX service means more capacity and opportunities for shippers.
“We are actively looking to develop barge, intermodal, depot, and cross-border services throughout Thailand. We are open to working with established entities in the market and we hope to offer shippers services they can count on.”
Riding this wave of momentum, CMA CGM is investing further inland now into Thailand and is actively trying to develop as much on the land as they have on the sea. “Developing additional services and upgrading them is a great start, but we want to continue offering Thai shippers the best possible service in line with our customer-centric strategy. The way we see ourselves doing that is pushing into the hinterland of Thailand,” said Ms. Lerda. “We are actively looking to develop barge, intermodal, depot, and cross-border services throughout Thailand. We are open to working with established entities in the market and we hope to offer shippers services they can count on.”
Along with a continuing rise in the number of services, Ms. Lerda was quick to mention that they are also investing internally into developing a premiere customer service team. She said, “When a customer contacts CMA CGM, we want them to feel the commitment our team has to their satisfaction. To help enable this, as a group globally we have split our customer service into two teams locally. The first ‘non-voice’ booking desk is purely focused on registering and booking orders into the system, while the other ‘voice’ team is solely focused on responding to customer needs. This helps us turn around and reply to customer requests as promptly and efficiently as possible. We’ve already seen great results with this setup and expect that to continue moving forward as we offer customers best in class service.”