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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: February 4, 2021
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Economic Development Partnership: Suzanne Clark, sclark@vedp.org | CMA CGM Group: Amber Leonard, usa.aleonard@cma-cgm.com

Governor Northam Announces CMA CGM Group to Retain North American Headquarters in Norfolk, Expand Presence in Virginia

Global shipping and logistics leader to invest projected $36 million in expansion, create more than 400 new jobs in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, will retain its North American headquarters in the City of Norfolk, including approximately 655 current employees, and will grow its presence in the Commonwealth, resulting in the creation of more than 400 new jobs in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.

The company will invest a projected $36 million to expand customer care and finance operations in Hampton Roads and establish ZEBOX in Arlington County, a start-up incubator and accelerator initiated by Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group. ZEBOX will assist innovative start-ups in developing new technologies for transportation, logistics, mobilities, and industry 4.0. Virginia was selected following a competitive site-selection search that included competing markets in other states. The majority of the new positions will be located in Hampton Roads. 

“This project is a tremendous victory for Virginia that will add significant momentum to our economic recovery as we emerge from this pandemic,” said Governor Northam. “Hampton Roads has a well-deserved reputation as a maritime services hub and our renowned tech workforce in Northern Virginia continues to attract leading companies. Securing CMA CGM’s expansion sends a powerful message that The Port of Virginia stands among the world’s greatest and our Commonwealth is prepared to keep adapting to the demands of our global economy.” 

As the nation’s top ocean-freight carrier, CMA CGM Group is headquartered in Marseilles, France and serves 19 ports in the United States, including The Port of Virginia, with 34 services and 93 weekly port calls. Its 538 vessels serve more than 420 ports globally and carried nearly 22 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2019. The company employs more than 12,000 team members across the United States and is a leading provider of logistics services through its subsidiary, CEVA Logistics. With CEVA Logistics, the CMA CGM Group, which employs 110,000 people worldwide, handles more than 500,000 tons of airfreight and 1.9 million tons of inland freight every year. In addition, CMA CGM Group’s 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. 

“Today’s announcement marks the opening of a new chapter in the long-lasting history of the CMA CGM Group with the United States and Virginia,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group. “The strong, trustful ties that bind us to the Commonwealth of Virginia will be further reinforced with the creation of 400 new jobs and strategic investments. Such a partnership is a great opportunity for our Group and our American customers. Furthermore, given the success of our startup incubator and accelerator ZEBOX in France, we’re thrilled to launch ZEBOX America in Arlington County. This is an exciting challenge to enable the development of innovative, game-changing projects and technologies.”

“The CMA CGM Group is pleased to choose the Commonwealth of Virginia to expand our operations and create 400 jobs,” said Ed Aldridge, President of CMA CGM and APL in North America. “Committed to the U.S. economy, we have a long history in Virginia that began in 2002 when we opened our first office in Virginia Beach. We later increased our presence and moved into our Norfolk headquarters in 2005. We are very pleased to expand our roots again and continue working with the Port of Virginia. Together we provide great maritime services to customers both in Virginia and around the world in addition to offering reliable inland transport to America’s heartland utilizing the port’s excellent rail network.”

“CMA CGM has thrived in Virginia for nearly two decades, and we are proud that this global leader will expand its operations in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The retention of over 600 jobs and creation of more than 400 additional jobs is critical during these challenging times. We look forward to many more years of partnership with CMA CGM, and congratulate the company on its continued success.” 

“This announcement highlights the importance of Virginia’s transportation and logistics infrastructure as a global gateway, including the Port of Virginia,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Bolstered by the partnership between CMA CGM and the Commonwealth, the company’s investment will cross multiple sectors of Virginia’s economy, creating important opportunities across two regions.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Norfolk, Hampton Roads Alliance, Port of Virginia, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission to secure the project for Virginia. CMA CGM Group will be eligible to receive an MEI custom performance grant of $9.5 million, subject to approval by the General Assembly. The company is also eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program.

Support for CMA CGM Group’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation. Business Facilities recently named the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program the third-best state workforce development program in the nation, just two years after the program launched.

“As a longtime corporate partner and major employer in Virginia, CMA CGM’s contribution to the Commonwealth cannot be overstated, and we thank the company for this major investment,” said Delegate Luke Torian, Chairman of the MEI Commission. “Securing projects of this caliber and retaining critical jobs for our citizens takes a concerted team effort, and I’m pleased that the MEI Commission could collaborate with our state, regional, and local partners to ensure CMA CGM continues to grow its footprint in Virginia.”

“CMA CGM’s decision to retain its North American headquarters in Virginia and grow operations in Hampton Roads and Arlington County demonstrates the strength of the Commonwealth’s business climate and infrastructure,” said Senator Janet Howell, Vice Chair of the MEI Commission. “The project team worked tirelessly to ensure the company’s continued growth here, and I am pleased that the MEI Commission could play a role in securing this important retention and expansion for the Commonwealth.”

“CMA CGM’s decision to continue direct investment and support for jobs in Norfolk is a testament to our role as a hub for innovation in international maritime and logistics,” said Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander. “The company’s 15-year presence has proven Norfolk’s role as a platform for regional business development and catalyst for job growth for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

“Arlington County is excited to be the home of ZEBOX’s first location in North America,” said Arlington County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti. “By accelerating the development of innovative start-ups, this facility will contribute to the world-class technology ecosystem in the National Landing district. We look forward to welcoming ZEBOX as a valued partner in our innovation economy and business community.”

“We are thrilled a global leader like CMA CGM will deepen its roots here in Hampton Roads,” said Doug Smith, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Alliance. “This is a tremendous validation of the strength of the workforce in our region and the value of the Port of Virginia. We are grateful to the regional collaboration and state support that paved the way for this announcement.”

“We have had a long, collaborative relationship and partnership with CMA CGM and are very pleased that the company elected to expand its operations and grow its workforce in Virginia,” said John F. Reinhart, Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director Emeritus. “We are fortunate that our new CEO and Executive Director, Stephen Edwards, knows the CMA CGM team very well and will work to build upon the strong foundation we have with this important customer and its business in Virginia.” 

“CMA CGM has thrived in Virginia for over 18 years, and when existing businesses reinvest in the Commonwealth, it is a strong testament to our skilled workforce, infrastructure, and regulatory environment,” said Delegate Angelia Williams Graves. “This global company is an important employer in the City of Norfolk, and we are proud it will continue to expand in the Hampton Roads region. I thank CMA CGM for its confidence in the Commonwealth, specifically, the City of Norfolk, and I look forward to the continued success of this valued corporate partner.”

“I am happy to see the expansion of CMA CGM Group’s North American headquarters in Hampton Roads,” said Senator Lionell Spruill, Sr. “The opportunities for 400 new jobs in the Commonwealth will make a big impact, especially during these trying times.”

“I want to welcome CMA CGM and ZEBOX to Arlington,” said Delegate Richard “Rip” Sullivan. “I am thrilled that CMA CGM has partnered with Arlington, highlighting the incredible talent and workforce we have in Arlington and Northern Virginia more broadly."

“The CMA CGM retention and expansion project is a prime example of Virginia’s continued dedication to workforce development and our workforce as a whole,” said Senator Adam Ebbin. “We are also glad to welcome ZEBOX to Arlington County, where our innovative educational programs are steadily growing and diversifying Virginia’s talent pool, making our region an ideal environment for companies looking to innovate and establish start-ups.”

“The Port of Virginia is one of the busiest ports on the East Coast and is a vital source of economic activity for Hampton Roads and the Commonwealth generally,” said Congressman Bobby Scott. “I am grateful for Governor Northam’s leadership on expanding the Port’s economic impact by expanding shipping and logistics presence throughout Virginia. This job creation is welcome news as we confront the impacts of the pandemic on workers and our economy.”

“I’m happy to welcome ZEBOX and the addition of new, good paying jobs to Arlington, and to see Northern Virginia’s continued growth as a tech hub and national leader in innovation,” said Congressman Don Beyer.

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