June 24 saw the end of the legendary Jacques Saade. The 81 year old Lebanese immigrant who founded French shipbuilding firm CMA CGM breathed his last on Sunday, said a report published in Reuters.
The man who oversaw the rise of the CMA CGM to a leading global player in its sector, died aged 81 on June 24, the company said on Monday.
- Saade set up the group in 1978 after leaving Lebanon during the civil war in that country, starting off with four employees, a single ship and only one maritime service between Marseilles and Beirut.
- In 1983, he sent his first ships beyond the Mediterranean and had them pass through the Suez Canal.
- Over the next decade, he launched a service linking northern Europe to Asia and opened the company’s first office in Shanghai in 1992.
- CMA CGM, which is the world’s third-largest container shipping group, said last year that Rodolphe Saade would succeed his father as its new chief executive.
- In March the company reported a $701 million net profit for last year, confirming its turnaround after a shipping downturn in 2016 when it suffered a $452 million loss.
- Container shipping lines, which transport everything from televisions to fresh fruit and dominate global freight volumes, are emerging from a severe downturn that culminated in the 2016 collapse of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping.
- The sector has also undergone a wave of consolidation, with world leader Maersk acquiring Hamburg Sud, while CMA CGM bought Singapore-based APL in 2016.
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