CMA CGM launches expedited LA trans-Pacific service

CMA CGM launches expedited LA trans-Pacific service

A surge in imports from Asia through Southern California is creating container bottlenecks, with growing equipment shortages and dwell times delaying boxes. Photo credit:

CMA CGM has unveiled two new expedited solutions on the trans-Pacific offering priority loading, discharge, and inland delivery to containers being shipped through Los Angeles.

The priority solutions hit the market as a surge in imports create congestion at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, adding lengthy delays to containers being shipped from Asia through Southern California to inland destinations.

CMA CGM’s SEAPRIORITY get, and SEAPRIORITY reach will flag time-sensitive shipments from Asia to the US West Coast and expedite their handling as priority cargo, the carrier said in a statement. 

The new services will allow containers to be discharged in priority and mounted on dedicated chassis upon arrival at Los Angeles to accelerate the port release. The priority containers will be loaded on trains with daily departures from Los Angeles to Kansas City, Memphis, Dallas, Chicago, and New York, the carrier stated. 

Shippers face LA delays

For many beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), shipping containers through Southern California is increasingly challenging. The LA-LB port complex saw a 40 percent increase in imports from Asia from May to July, generating congestion, equipment shortages, and excessive chassis dwell times at marine terminals and distribution centers. 

Containerized imports from Asia in July totaled 810,260 TEU, up from 703,060 TEU in June and 579,721 TEU in May, according to PIERS, a sister company within IHS Markit. US imports flooded into the country in July as a number of states resumed economic activity that had been suspended during the COVID-19 crisis this spring.

The SEAPRIORITY suite of services is part of CMA CGM’s “customer centricity” strategy that includes a range of customized solutions as the carrier continues to expand services beyond its core product of container transport.

Earlier this year, CMA CGM announced a business matchmaking service for its long-term customers, helping to pair importers and exporters with potential partners. Late last year, CMA CGM launched a trade finance product for importers and exporters, offering a range of solutions from extended payment terms to financing advances that capitalized on the emergence of platforms that make access to capital easier.

Contact Greg Knowler at and follow him on Twitter: @greg_knowler.