From GCaptain By Mike Schuler

French shipping group CMA CGM has announced plans to expand its U.S. headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia and launch a new startup incubator that will focus on developing technologies within the transportation and logistics sectors.

The world’s second largest shipping company said it chose Virginia following a competitive site-selection selection search that included participation from other states.

The company launched its U.S. operations in 1997 and has had its U.S. headquarters in Norfolk since 2005.

With this week’s decision, CMA CGM said plans to invest about $36 million to expand operations in Hampton Roads, reinforce its headquarters in Norfolk, and also establish Arlington as the home of ZEBOX, a start-up incubator and accelerator founded by Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group’s Chairman and CEO.

ZEBOX aims to assist innovative startups in developing new technologies in for transportation, logistics, mobilities and industries, and attract entrepreneurs from around the world.

The move is expected to create some 400 new jobs in the region, adding to its more than 12,000 employees across the United States.

“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 Saadé. “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.”

From a Startwheel and entrepreneurial standpoint, it’s great to know that we have another startup friendly company headquartered within Hampton Roads. It would have been great if they located their incubator and accelerator within Hampton Roads but having another startup friendly CEO and a major player headquartered in Hampton Roads is a huge step forward.
What do you think?