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CMA CGM Completes Purchase of FMS Terminal at Port of LA

FMS
A shipment of new cranes at the FMS terminal at Port of Los Angeles (CMA CGM file image)

Published Jan 5, 2022 10:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

CMA CGM has completed its acquisition of the Fenix Marine Services container terminal at the Port of Los Angeles, one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States. The ocean carrier already owned 10 percent of FMS and has now finalized the purchase of the remaining 90 percent, making it the sole owner. 

The deal - first announced in November - is valued at $2.3 billion, and it gives CMA CGM its own fully-owned and operated terminal at Los Angeles, the busiest container port in the U.S. FMS is the third-biggest terminal in the LA/Long Beach complex by capacity, with annual throughput of up to 2.5 million TEU. Its concession agreement with the port runs through 2043. 

FMS has several advantages for CMA CGM, including four deepwater berths, eight Panamax cranes and eight super-post-Panamax cranes (with four more on order for delivery in late 2022). 

The line wants to continue FMS' goal of increasing throughput. FMS is already well above its peers at the port, operating at about 8,500 TEU per acre, but CMA CGM says that it will continue to invest in its performance. It plans to expand the container yard in stages, invest in more rail capacity, add an additional berth and continue the previous operator's digital transformation. 

FMS has served CMA CGM's vessels for a long time, and the line has been investing in its performance throughout the recent supply chain congestion crisis. CMA CGM has incentivized early container pickup for boxes arriving at FMS, including a $200 discount for nighttime pickup, and it has helped to underwrite the extra cost of extended gate hours. Together, FMS and CMA CGM handled the symbolic 10 millionth TEU of the year for the Port of Los Angeles, celebrating the first time that the port has ever passed that milestone. 

Beginning this year, the FMS terminal will welcome a new generation of CMA CGM boxships powered by LNG. The line is planning to deploy its new series of 15,000 TEU LNG-fueled boxships on Asia-U.S. routes for the first time.