CMA CGM Group is acquiring two terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey as it seeks to expand its capacity in the U.S. and grow its global portfolio of maritime terminals.
The ocean carrier said Wednesday it had signed an agreement to purchase the port's GCT Bayonne and GCT New York terminals. Both East Coast terminals have a combined capacity of 2 million TEUs per year, with a potential to handle double the capacity if expanded.
The acquisition will grow the ocean carrier's footprint of terminals in the U.S. to seven. CMA CGM is currently invested in 52 terminals in 28 countries through its subsidiaries.
Owning and investing in terminals helps increase its shipping lines' efficiency and service quality, the company said in the release.
CMA CGM said the GCT Bayonne terminal in New Jersey adds a high level of automation, fast truck turn time and close ocean access to its portfolio, while the New York terminal benefits from a highly productive labor force.
Chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé called the terminal purchases a "strategic investment" in a statement, due to their location in New York and New Jersey — which is the company's largest gateway on the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts.
"It further consolidates our positions in the United States, a major market among the fastest-growing worldwide, and will help us continue our development," Saadé said.
The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, comes at a time when East Coast ports are experiencing an uptick in cargo. Shippers have largely been diverting cargo to the East Coast as labor negotiations loom over West Coast ports.
Earlier this year, CMA CGM also invested in West Coast capacity: In January the company acquired Fenix Marine Terminal in the Port of Los Angeles.
Edwin Lopez contributed to this story.