Shipping giant CMA CGM has invested in quantum computing company Pasqal to introduce the technology into its operations and explore its maritime applications. 

The two French companies formed a strategic partnership and will also establish a Quantum Computing Centre of Excellence at CMA CGM’s learning and innovation centre TANGRAM. 

Hadi Zablit, executive vice president for IT at CMA CGM Group, said: “This partnership with Pasqal will allow CMA CGM to apply quantum computing technologies to maritime transport and logistics, reinforcing our Group’s position as a leader in the digital transformation of our industry.” 

One of the biggest topics in the technology industry for the last decade, quantum computing is a new form of computing that uses quantum physics to go beyond binary processing and provide exponentially faster calculations and data processing. 

However, while the idea has been around since the mid 20th century, scalable quantum computers have yet to be developed, meaning much of their proposed uses are theoretical. 

Despite this, CMA CGM said it is hoping its partnership with Pasqal will allow it to “leverage the power of quantum computing” to improve the efficiency and adaptability of the transport and logistics market, particularly by optimising container management. 

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The new centre of excellence will provide training and case workshops on the technology for CMA CGM staff, alongside an e-learning platform to allow employees to improve their understanding of the idea. 

Geroges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of Pasqal, said: “All of Pasqal’s priorities are reflected in this partnership with CMA CGM: developing concrete use cases with leading industrial players, accelerating the understanding of the potential of quantum computing, and continuing cutting-edge research to serve the quantum ecosystem.” 

While the exact investment into Pasqal has not been disclosed, CMA CGM has been investing significantly to expand its business recently, including a $5.2bn acquisition of Bolloré Logistics agreed in March, the largest in the company’s history.