AFRICA/MIDDLE EAST – Leading Ocean carrier CMA CGM has inaugurated the North Red Sea Express (NRX) service in response to challenges posed by regional instability attributed to the Red Sea crisis.

This strategic move not only marks a pivotal expansion of feeder services in the Arabian Peninsula but also signifies a resolute commitment to ensuring uninterrupted trade flows despite prevalent challenges.

Partnering with Folk Maritime, a distinguished short-sea feeder service based in Riyadh, CMA CGM unveils NRX as a weekly service set to navigate through critical Red Sea waters.

Scheduled ports of call include Jeddah, Yanbu, and Neom, strategically positioned north of the volatile Bab al-Mandab Strait, a focal point for Houthi rebel attacks in the region.

Additionally, NRX will service the Jordanian Port of Aqaba and Egypt’s Port of Sokha, augmenting connectivity across vital trade routes.

Highlighting the significance of this endeavor, Olivier Nivoix, Executive Vice President of CMA CGM Group Lines, emphasizes, “This service will not only contribute to Saudi Arabia’s expansion of its logistic capabilities in the North Red Sea but also serve our customers with a better offering in this key region where CMA CGM Group has been pioneering direct calls to the port of Neom since March 2023.”

This announcement dovetails with Saudi Arabia’s ambitious National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS), unveiled in August last year.

With plans to establish 59 diversified transport centers nationwide, the NTLS underscores the Kingdom’s steadfast commitment to bolstering its logistical infrastructure.

Anticipating investments exceeding 500 billion riyals ($133bn) by 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to spearhead over 300 transport and logistics projects in collaboration with domestic and international private sector entities.

The launch of NRX comes in the wake of the CMA CGM Group’s unveiling of the OCEAN Alliance “DAY 8 Product,” in collaboration with COSCO Shipping, Evergreen, and OOCL.

This reaffirmation of commitment to excellence, extending the partnership until 2032, underscores CMA CGM’s unwavering dedication to superior service delivery amidst global challenges.

As maritime disruptions persist due to instability in the Red Sea region, necessitating rerouting through the Cape of Good Hope, CMA CGM and its partners remain proactive in adjusting rotations to uphold supply chain continuity.

Through strategic maneuvers, the OCEAN Alliance endeavors to preserve its hallmark qualities of visibility, reliability, and punctuality, ensuring seamless trade operations despite prevailing adversities.

In essence, the launch of the North Red Sea Express not only symbolizes CMA CGM’s pioneering spirit in expanding regional connectivity but also underscores its unwavering resolve to navigate through turbulent waters, upholding the integrity of global supply chains.

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