Following its acquisition by CMA CGM for €4.85 billion ($5.24 billion) at the end of February this year, Bolloré Logistics is being absorbed into the Ceva Logistics division, adding scale in air and ocean freight services, according to Ceva.

Ceva Logistics is also combining its air and ocean operations to capitalise on best practices and technology investments, notably in finalising its implementation of CargoWise, the integrated logistics execution platform it has designed to simplify and standardise 3PL operational processes across its global network.

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Combined strengths of Ceva and Bolloré will make it a top five global forwarder in air and ocean

Jérôme Petit, Ceva Logistics new head of global air and ocean at Ceva Logistics (formerly at Bolloré), said the integration of Bolloré Logistics into Ceva will further strengthen the company by adding air and ocean volumes on all trade lanes, particularly between Asia-Europe and Europe-Americas.

 “The combined organisation will create a top five global forwarder in both air and ocean freight, creating further economies of scale and increased buying power, which will benefit our automotive customers, and more broadly, all of our customers,” he told Automotive Logistics.

Petit said that since CGM CMA closed the acquisition in late February, Ceva had been working toward the integration of its activities, which will now accelerate in the coming months to optimise the network and facilities.

“We will obviously capitalise on both companies’ strengths when it comes to systems and processes,” he said. “By the end 2024, we will have completed the deployment of our new global TMS environment (with CargoWise at the core) across all of the former Bolloré Logistics network.”

He said Ceva will place the legacy Ceva Logistics model under the same TMS environment in a project starting in late 2024.

“This aims at providing a single, global TMS that will benefit our customers by providing worldwide visibility, data and processes,” said Petit. “We will also capitalise on Ceva’s legacy size and expertise on global business services across the globe, allowing better “follow-the-sun” services wherever required for our customers and at an optimised operating cost. 

The combined organisation will be organised in five regions:

North America
Latin America
Europe (including north and west Africa)
India, Middle East and southern Africa (IMEA)

”This coverage will allow us to strengthen our existing relationship with historic automotive customers, to accompany new players in their international development (particularly when it comes to EV), and to serve new developing markets with the breadth of our logistics services for the automotive sector – Jérôme Petit, Ceva Logistics

Combined strength 
Bolloré has well established services for the automotive industry, including inbound, in-plant and finished vehicle logistics services, as well as providing logistics services for the aftermarket. In 2022 it moved 710,000 TEUs of ocean freight and 390,000 tons of air freight, along with maintaining storage capacity of 900,000 sq.m. 

Last year Ceva moved 1.9m TEUs of ocean freight and 800,000 tons of air freight, while managing 11.7m sq.m of warehouse space. 

Bolloré said the combined strength of the integration with Ceva will represent nearly 1m tons of air freight, approximately 2m TEUs of ocean freight, and more than 11m sq.m of storage capacity at more than 1,000 warehouses globally.

Petit also acknowledged the global footprint of each organisation and said both networks complement each other well. Bolloré Logistics will strengthen Ceva’s European network, particularly in France, while Ceva’s existing footprint in North and Latin America remains a particular strength, according to Petit.

“When it comes to Asia Pacific, both networks complement each other by offering extensive coverage, increasing significantly our size and capabilities in key automotive markets, such as North Asia, China, south-east Asia and India,” he said. “This denser network will translate particularly into stronger air and LCL [less-than-container load] consolidation gateways and services.”

Bolloré Logistics’ historical expertise on the African continent is also seen as a definitive plus by Ceva and will help automotive customers in their development on the continent, also leveraging Ceva’s expanded network and acquisitions over the past few years.

The vertical integration of Bolloré is the latest development in CMA CGM’s global growth by acquisition. The company bought Ceva in 2019 and Gefco in 2022, incorporating the latter into Ceva and completing the integration in early 2023. Under its ownership by CMA CGM, Ceva has also added Ingram Micro’s CLS division in the ecommerce sector, Cargex in perishable cargo, and Colis Privé in small parcel deliveries.