Shipping company to update Norfolk HQ, add more than 400 jobs here and in Northern Virginia

Trevor Metcalfe, The Virginian-Pilot
·2 min read

A shipping giant plans to keep its headquarters, along with hundreds of jobs, in Norfolk and add hundreds more in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.

CMA CGM Group, a French shipping and logistics company, decided to renovate its Norfolk headquarters and retain 655 Norfolk jobs, according to an announcement Thursday from Gov. Ralph Northam.

The $36 million project also will grow the company’s operations in Virginia and create more than 400 new jobs — the majority of which will be in Hampton Roads.

“CMA CGM’s decision to continue direct investment and support for jobs in Norfolk is a testament to our role as a hub for innovation in international maritime and logistics,” Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander said in a news release.

In the announcement, Northam called the project a victory for Virginia and said it would add significant momentum to the state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Hampton Roads has a well-deserved reputation as a maritime services hub, and our renowned tech workforce in Northern Virginia continues to attract leading companies,” Northam said.

CMA CGM leaders chose Norfolk after a site-selection search that included competing markets in other states, according to the announcement. The company’s North American headquarters is in the Lake Wright Executive Center near Norfolk International Airport.

The company plans to renovate the headquarters building and expand customer care operations in Norfolk. CMA CGM also will open a shipping and logistics-focused startup incubator and accelerator called ZEBOX in Arlington County.

CMA CGM Group will be eligible to receive a custom performance grant of $9.5 million from the Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission, subject to approval by the Virginia General Assembly. The company is also eligible to receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Zone Grant Program.

The shipping company came to Hampton Roads in 2002 when it opened an office in Virginia Beach. CMA CGM moved to its current Norfolk location in 2005.

CMA CGM is headquartered in Marseilles, France, and serves 19 U.S. ports. Its 538 vessels have a combined capacity of around 2.7 million twenty-foot container equivalent units, making it one of the biggest shipping companies in the world. The company employs more than 12,000 people in the United States.

Trevor Metcalfe, 757-222-5345, trevor.metcalfe@insidebiz.com