CMA CGM Launching New Early Container Return Incentive to Increase Supply Chain Velocity and Help Shippers Offset Carbon Footprint

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  • The CMA CGM Group is committed to boldly acting for more sustainable, efficient and fluid transport solutions.
  • CMA CGM continues to implement initiatives designed to support U.S. exporters and expedite the flow of goods.
  • The Group’s New TEUs to Trees Early Container Return Incentive Program will provide customers 2.5 tons of carbon credit per container to offset emissions and support U.S. socio-environmental projects.

NORFOLK, Va., Sept. 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, announced today the launch of TEUs to Trees, an early container return incentive program designed to increase climate change mitigation in the United States while assisting in the overall effort to improve both the fluidity and velocity of the supply chain. The program will be in effect from October 1, 2022, to December 30, 2022.


A Group dedicated to reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable operations

This new incentive program is an opportunity to reward customers for doing their part to increase equipment availability while also helping them offset their environmental footprint. The carbon credits CMA CGM will purchase on behalf of its customers will notably be used to expand U.S. forestry, support urban resilience projects in vulnerable communities and drive the creation of additional offset projects in the United States. Through this program, the Group also aims to partner with its customers and move forward together towards a more sustainable shipping.

In order to increase impact, CMA CGM has also expanded this new early container return incentive to cover both refrigerated and dry containers as well as every U.S. ocean terminal where CMA CGM receives empty containers. This enables shippers of all sizes and locations to offset carbon emissions and positively contribute to socio-environmental projects in the United States.

A continued effort to improve supply chain velocity in the United States

With a thriving global economy, the shipping industry has experienced an unprecedented spike in demand throughout North America, leading to increased pressure on capacity and ports. Throughout the surge, CMA CGM has leveraged its extensive capabilities that include sea, land, air, and logistics services to provide an array of flexible transport solutions to assist customers.

The company has also increased capacity and made significant investments in equipment. In addition, CMA CGM was the first to freeze spot rates, and in March of this year, the Group dedicated vessel capacity to small and medium enterprises in both Europe and North America at rates typically only provided to high-volume shippers. 

This newly launched incentive program is the third implemented by CMA CGM to encourage early pickup and return of containers.

An innovative program with positive socio-environmental impact

CMA CGM’s new incentive program is projected to result in forest conservation and urban resilience projects in some of the United States’ most vulnerable communities.

Credits will be provided to CMA CGM customers that return both dry and refrigerated containers originating from nearly 20 Asian countries to CMA CGM-approved return locations in port cities throughout the United States (rail ramps not included).

Throughout the program, each applicable importer of record (consignee listed on the Bill of Lading) will receive:

  • 2.5 tons of carbon credits per container returned during calendar days 1–4. To calculate the credit, CMA CGM will utilize EDI transaction data and will not require invoices or additional documentation from customers.
  • A progress report every 30 days. At the end of the program, customers will be issued an official carbon offset certificate for total credits earned.

Solutions designed to accelerate the energy transition of shipping and logistics

The CMA CGM Group has pledged to be Net Zero Carbon by 2050 and, as a result, has implemented a very focused decarbonization strategy.

  • USD 1.5 billion Special Fund for Energies: The CMA CGM Group announced earlier this month that it is creating a USD1.5 billion Special Fund for Energies to accelerate its energy transition. The Fund will be structured around four lines of focus: Supporting the development and production of renewable fuels; Accelerating the decarbonization of port terminals, warehouses, and truck fleets; Supporting, testing and launching projects at the cutting edge of innovation; and pursuing energy savings and improving the energy efficiency of CMA CGM employee working methods and daily mobility.
  • E-methane Ready Fleet: In 2017, CMA CGM was the first to invest in dual-fuel vessels that currently run on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The engines installed on these vessels are already compatible with biomethane and e-methane. Currently the Group has 31 “e-methane ready” vessels in service and will have a total of 77 by 2026.
  • Alternative Energy Investments: The Group is investing in a variety of projects designed to accelerate the development of new energies. CMA CGM recently joined the Jupiter 1000 Project, which aims to produce e-methane using green hydrogen generated from sustainable electricity and CO2 captured from industrial processes. CMA CGM also announced in July 2022 with Engie, a global leader in low-carbon energy and services, plans to co-invest in the Salamander project, the first industrial and commercial unit for second-generation biomethane production.
  • Bunkering Infrastructure: To support the growth of an e-methane ready fleet, the CMA CGM Group is also helping develop port infrastructure to support the bunkering of alternative energies. In 2021, the Group completed the very first ship-to-ship LNG simultaneous bunkering operation at the Port of Shanghai, which is a new milestone for the energy transition. 
  • Environmentally-focused service offerings: CMA CGM has also dedicated itself to supporting the decarbonization journey of its customers and, as a result, has developed a range of innovative services called ACT with CMA CGM+. These services enable customers to measure, analyze, reduce and offset their carbon footprint when shipping with CMA CGM.
  • Actions to preserve and restore marine and inland biodiversity, notably towards oceans, mangroves or forests, which are strong natural carbon sinks, essential to absorb greenhouse gas such as a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Maryland and Virginia to plant millions of juvenile oysters on newly constructed reefs to preserve water quality and biodiversity, and the Reef Recovery program with five coral nurseries worldwide, including one in Florida. CMA CGM also partners with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to increase protection of the North Atlantic Right Whale, and recently launched two passive acoustic monitoring buoys off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, and Savannah, Georgia.

Ed Aldridge, President of CMA CGM America and American President Lines, said, “Our newest incentive program is a perfect example of our continual quest to create innovative solutions that result in BETTER WAYS of doing business. Encouraging customers to return boxes sooner provides additional containers and chassis for export bookings, and the type of incentive we are offering will result in the formation of new socio-environmental projects right here in the United States. It is our hope that through this program, others in the industry will be inspired to leverage their capabilities to positively impact the environment and our local communities.”


Led by Rodolphe Saadé, the CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, serves more than 420 ports around the world across 5 continents, with a fleet of 583 vessels. The Group transported 22 million TEU containers (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2021. With its subsidiary CEVA Logistics, a global logistics player which transported 474,000 tons of air cargo and more than 21 million tons of inland freight, and its air cargo division CMA CGM AIR CARGO, the CMA CGM Group is constantly innovating to provide customers a comprehensive and increasingly efficient offering, thanks to new shipping, inland, air freight and logistics solutions.

Firmly committed to the energy transition in shipping and a pioneer in its use of alternative fuels, the CMA CGM Group has set a Net Zero-Carbon target for 2050.

Each year, via the CMA CGM Foundation, the Group supports thousands of children as part of its efforts to promote education for all and equal opportunities. The CMA CGM Foundation also intervenes in humanitarian crises requiring an emergency response by calling on the Group’s shipping and logistics expertise to deliver humanitarian supplies around the world.

Present in 160 countries through its network of more than 400 offices and 750 warehouses, the Group employs 150,000 people worldwide, including 2,900 in Marseille where its head office is located. In the United States, CMA CGM, which is headquartered in Norfolk, Va., employs more than 22,000 people. Its subsidiary, American President Lines (APL), operates a fleet of U.S.-flagged vessels and supports U.S. territories and American military stationed around the world.


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