February 04, 2004

Ellen Qualls
(804) 786-2211, x2379

Claudine Laitman
(201) 770-5205
Jill Vaughan
(804) 371-0049
-Governor Warner lauds CMA-CGM’s decision to create 116 new jobs in Hampton Roads-

RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that CMA-CGM, the world’s fifth largest steamship line, will locate its North American headquarters in the City of Norfolk. Through an $11.5-million investment, CMA-CGM will create 116 new jobs for Norfolk. The company also plans to consolidate its Virginia Beach facility into the new Norfolk operation – retaining 260 existing CMA-CGM jobs for the Commonwealth. Virginia successfully competed with a number of other locations for the project.

“CMA-CGM’s decision illustrates the Commonwealth’s maritime economic strengths and the convenient, worldwide access of the Port of Virginia,” said Governor Warner. “I am pleased to welcome CMA-CGM’s North American headquarters to Virginia and glad we could retain existing jobs in the Commonwealth.”

Headquartered in Marseilles, France, CMA-CGM is one of the world’s leading container shipping companies. The company operates a fleet of 157 vessels on more than 50 major shipping routes. In 2003, CMA-CGM carried 2.8 million containers. With 205 ports of call in 126 countries and 400 offices worldwide, CMA-CGM serves all destinations. Its main container hubs are located in Asia, Europe, North America, the Middle-East, and the Caribbean. CMA-CGM has grown its presence in the U.S. extensively over the past several years and now provides service to and from the East, West and Gulf coasts and handled close to 500,000 containers in and out of the U.S. in 2003. Cargo volume is expected to grow significantly in 2004 as well. CMA-CGM also operates an extensive North American rail, truck and barge inter-modal network to serve it’s customers needs and connect them to its worldwide network of vessel services which make 42 calls per week at U.S. ports.

“We are excited about our new headquarters building. We are not only investing in the building but also in our employees and the communities in which they live. We believe this investment will help us better serve our customers and grow our company profitably,” said John Van De Merwe, President of CMA-CGM (America), Inc., the U.S. arm of CMA-CGM. “We are pleased with the efforts of Governor Warner, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the City of Norfolk, and are happy to be a part of the Hampton Roads business community.”

Governor Warner approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to support the City of Norfolk with the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the City of Norfolk Department of Development assisted CMA-CGM with its decision. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training as well as retraining assistance for existing CMA-CGM jobs.

“We are confident that this move will provide CMA-CGM with a competitive advantage,” said Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim. “This company exemplifies the city’s strategic plan to build on Norfolk’s maritime economic strengths.”


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