CMA CGM is campaigning to win Pentagon contracts from Maersk

Rodolphe Saade has made recently an unexpected and illogical statement.

At a meeting with the president Macron the head of the French shipping major CMA CGM said that none of its 500 vessels will use the Northern Sea Route along Siberia, which is now open due to climate change.

Additionally, the company said, it would give priority to liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power its future ships in order to further protect the environment. “With this decision, CMA CGM makes the resolute choice to protect the environment and the planet’s biodiversity despite the major competitive advantage this route represents for shipping companies,” Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, said.

Let is note, what Le Figaro said, although the point was not mentioned in the original statement.

“While the melting ice makes the three sea passages in the Arctic gradually accessible, CMA CGM is committed to not letting any of its 500 vessels pass there. Particularly not on the north-east axis along Siberia.”

That is, never mind the environment of the Canadian, Greenland and the US coasts along the northwest passage! Is the whole thing just about screwing over Putin? The statement is contradictory in yet another way. If the whole fleet is powered by LNG, the cleanest fuel known, it will pose no threat for the environment, will it?

Rodolphe Saade is the heir to Jacques Saade, a brilliant businessman of the De Gaulle’s (Wiki says he only got to Marseilles in 1978, but this may not be accurate) and Shirak’s France, self-made, ex-Lebanese. He was tough, expressive, sharp-tongued, loved and hated at the same time. And he was a CHARACTER. Only the Norwegian shipping tycoon John Fredriksen (seven years younger) and Michael Kühne are still on the arena from this generation. And both are very flamboyant, free and open in their thoughts and behavior. The new head of CMA CGM Rodolphe Saade belongs to a different generation. He has advisors, PR managers, all sorts of bootlickers and he is dancing to their tune. So the contradictions may come from the many parties involved, you may think.

But, let us note a coincidence. (Is it a Coincidence?) Maersk is about to get caught in the crossfire, with Trump attacking Denmark and Denmark attacking the US outpost – Maersk – Pentagon’s carrier and logistics provider. If the Vikings are thrown out of Pentagon, only 2 companies are fit enough for the job – MSC and CMA CGM.

But the Swiss MSC has a Sicilian background and a very warm relationship with the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Transport. While the French corporation has always been treated by Moscow with caution: the elder Saade was a very public person, almost like a video blogger.

CMA CGM has got experience in serving the French army and the French nuclear giant AREVA, so it has a good chance of winning the Pentagon deal.

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