CMA CGM Group has received the first containership in a series of four vessels that will serve the French West Indies.

The new CMA CGM Fort De France vessel will sail under the French flag.

The 3,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) vessel comprises 850 plugs for refrigerated containers or reefers to transport perishables such as bananas in optimal conditions.

Featuring a length of 219m, CMA CGM Fort De France includes a draft ideal for the West Indies ports.

CMA CGM in a statement said: “Following the delivery of the CMA CGM Fort De France, the group will take delivery over the spring and summer of 2019 of three other vessels with identical features: the CMA CGM Fort Royal, the CMA CGM Fort Saint Charles, and the CMA CGM Fort Fleur D’epee.

“This owned fleet will sail under the French flag and will be deployed in replacement of the existing ‘Forts’ on the North Europe French West Indies line.

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By GlobalData
“This service links Europe and Metropolitan France to Guadeloupe and Martinique, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in under ten days.”

“This service links Europe and Metropolitan France to Guadeloupe and Martinique, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in under ten days.”

CMA CGM is expected to enhance the economic condition of the French West Indies with its service involving the new vessels.

In November, CMA CGM renewed its transport contract with the banana producers association of Guadeloupe and Martinique, UGPBAN, until 2026.

As part of the extended contract, CMA CGM will transport 270,000t of bananas annually from French West Indies to Dunkerque in Metropolitan France.