French shipping company CMA CGM Group has agreed to invest $29.5m (€25m), including $11.81m (€10m) in quasi-equity, in ferry operator Brittany Ferries to help the latter bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis.
The companies hope this alliance will help to unlock synergies in passenger and freight transport as well as promote the development of cross-channel shipping.
It establishes a commercial partnership between the companies through the use of available cargo space on board the French ferry company’s services to the UK, Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula.
Transportation of goods on Brittany Ferries’ roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ships will enable CMA CGM Group to expand its RoRo proposition for the Atlantic and northern coast of France to the UK.
Under the agreement, CMA CGM and Brittany Ferries will be able to launch new RoRo services.
Brittany Ferries said: “The partnership with CMA CGM will also pave the way for Brittany Ferries to gain more expertise in freight and logistics.
“It will help the company to adapt more easily to the post-Covid-19 trends in goods transportation, including the transport of unaccompanied trailers, and to offer new transport services so it can better meet the needs of its customers.”
The two companies are also committed to developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power their ships.
Through this partnership, they will share their LNG resources and knowledge in areas including training French crews and safety procedures.
The companies plan to introduce other more environmentally friendly shipping and logistics solutions as well.
Two new LNG-powered ships, named Salamanca and Santoña, are expected to join the Brittany Ferries fleet, one next year and one in 2023.
These two Ro-Pax vessels will provide services between the UK and Spain.
Additionally, the ferry operator is preparing to launch a new rail freight service to bolster its multimodal offering.