The CMA CGM Group will implement the shipping industry's first Early Container Return Incentive Programme at the FMS terminal in Los Angeles, and all CMA CGM return locations in Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City and Memphis.

"The programme will begin on May 16, 2022, and continue until July 15, 2022 with the goal of accelerating the return of empty containers and ensuring U.S. exporters have even greater access to equipment," according to an official statement.

CMA CGM was the first to freeze spot rates, and the company also implemented a programme to encourage the early pickup of containers, which resulted in a 73 percent decrease in dwell of CMA CGM containers over nine days in Southern California, the statement added. "In March, the Group dedicated vessel capacity to small and medium enterprises in both Europe and North America at rates typically only provided to high-volume shippers."

The programme includes:

* A $300 per dry container returned to eligible locations during calendar days 1–4.
* Calculation of incentive credits on a weekly basis with a credit memo issued every 14 days to each applicable importer of record; and
* Utilisation of EDI transaction data to assess credit, thus no additional documentation required from customers.

The programme is projected to result in approximately 43,000 dry containers being put back into circulation within four days of pickup, the statement said.

"CMA CGM is committed to doing everything we can to increase the fluidity and velocity of America's supply chain," says Ed Aldridge, President, CMA CGM and APL North America. "Our new programme will result in an incentive credit for our importers, improve equipment availability for our exporters and expedite the flow of goods into and out of America's heartland. It's truly a win-win for everyone."

Gene Seroka, Executive Director, Port of Los Angeles, added: "With this incentive programme, the CMA CGM Group is facilitating a more robust flow of goods through the Port of Los Angeles and helping U.S. exporters get their product to destinations around the globe more quickly."

The new initiative is the second incentive programme by CMA in the U.S., following the early container pickup incentive programme initiated at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach at the end of 2021.

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