CMB – Compagnie Maritime Belge
"Always a step ahead": that is how we operate. We believe the strong traditions of the maritime industry can work hand in hand with innovation and a pioneering spirit. Our history and track record and the development of new technologies reinforce and complement each other.
This is us
Every day, about 150 seagoing vessels carry dry bulk (Bocimar), containers (Delphis), chemicals (Bochem) and offshore wind crew (Windcat) around the seven seas. These activities are supported ashore by our head office in Belgium and our offices in Japan, Namibia, Singapore, China, Germany, UK, and The Netherlands.
We believe the only future-proof strategy for the maritime industry is a sustainable and climate-neutral one. Our cleantech division CMB.TECH emanates that vision. To keep the innovation going, MCA was created to guide this maritime industry toward more cooperation and innovation.
CMB drives on shared values
The way we do business, our ethics and the interaction with our stakeholders are inspired by strong family values: honesty, hard work, openness, solidarity and long-term value creation.
We want these values to be reflected in our working environments, both onshore and on board our ships. We wish to offer all our colleagues a healthy, safe and positive place to work.
We wish to work as efficiently as possible in our day-to-day activities to maximise the value creation of everything we undertake.
We like to make quick decisions with a strong can-do attitude. When it is clear what needs to be done, we do it.
We adapt to changing environments by developing future-proof products and solutions.
We dare to invest in the future, even in the direst of times. We value entrepreneurship. This is what kept CMB going for so many years and what we admire in our staff. We do not take "no" for an answer and constantly try to find solutions for the challenges ahead.
Through these values, we show our commitment to our industry, our customers, our employees and the world we live in.
The history of CMB
The values we uphold at CMB are not a recent development. They have helped us set our course throughout 125 years of business. The timeline below includes the highlights and lowlights that have helped us to become the company we are today.
Mineral Belgie and Mineral Nederland (210.000 dwt) are delivered to Bocimar as the first 2 ships in the "Mineral Europe" series.
CMA-CGM Masai Mara (6.000 TEU) is delivered to Delphis, which is the first ammonia-ready container ship in the fleet.
CMB.TECH and Ford Trucks announce partnership for the conversion to dual fuel hydrogen trucks.
Antwerp Terminal Services (ATS) and CMB.TECH launch World’s First Hydrogen Dual Fuel Straddle Carrier.
The Bochem Marengo (2017) joins Bochem.
The Bochem Pegasos (2018) joins Bochem.
WinGD, a Swiss marine power company, and CMB.TECH agree to co-develop large ammonia-fuelled two-stroke engines. The companies bring combined expertise to zero-carbon fuel technology in a groundbreaking collaboration for a fleet of ammonia fuelled bulk carriers.
The Bochem Bucephalas (2017) and the Bochem Walvis Bay (2016) join the chemical tanker fleet of the CMB Group.
The Bochem Bayard (2017) is delivered to the CMB Group.
The opening of the first CMB.TECH dual fuel workshop takes place. In this workshop, new ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) trucks are converted with CMB.TECH’s dual fuel hydrogen technology.
Bochem acquires 5 modern chemical tankers; four units of 25.000 and one unit of 20.000 dwt. The vessels will deliver to the Group in the course of the first quarter of 2023 and will be named Bochem Bayard (2017), Bochem Buchephalas (2017), Bochem Marengo (2017), Bochem Pegasos (2018) and Bochem Walvis Bay (2016).
CMB.TECH and Windcat Workboats present the first hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessel: the Hydrocat 48. This ground-breaking development for both the marine and offshore wind industries is the first CTV that uses clean fuels to reduce up to 80% of its traditional fuel usage and associated emissions.
BeHydro launches 100% hydrogen engines for heavy-duty applications at the World Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam. These innovative, zero emission engines are ready to be used and will allow the industry to further engage in 100% sustainable and environmentally friendly development.
CMB.TECH and Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, one of Namibia’s largest companies, create Cleanergy Solutions, a joint venture that aims to develop a hydrogen production and distribution plant in Namibia.
CMB.TECH opens the world’s first multimodal hydrogen refuelling station and presents a dual-fuel hydrogen-diesel truck. Green hydrogen is produced on the same location through green electricity, water and electrolysis.
CMB and Tsuneishi Shipbuilding present the Hydrobingo, the world’s first hydrogen-powered ferry. The Hydrobingo was realised through the joint venture between the two companies: JPNH₂YDRO.
CMB acquires Windcat Workboats from Seacor Marine. Windcat Workboats is the world’s leading offshore wind supply company operating a fleet of more than 40 crew transfer vessels.
BeHydro – a joint venture between CMB.TECH and ABC Engines – launches the first hydrogen powered dual-fuel engine.
CMB and Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, a Japanese shipbuilder, join forces to build a hydrogen powered ferry. This partnership is a combination between Tsuneishi’s state-of-the-art shipbuilding capabilities and CMB’s extensive know-how in marine hydrogen systems.
CMB wins the Port of Antwerp Sustainability Award with the Hydroville. With this award, the Port of Antwerp highlights sustainable initiatives undertaken by port users and stimulates sustainable economic practices.
CMB Technologies becomes CMB.TECH.
MV Hydroville was christened in Antwerp. this is the first certified passenger shuttle that uses hydrogen to power a diesel engine. Hydrogen has the advantage that no CO₂, particulate matter or sulphur oxides are released.
CMB establishes Hunter Maritime Acquisition Corp. listed on NASDAQ.
The Saverys family take CMB private and delist CMB after 104 years on the Brussels stock exchange.
CMB acquires Delphis. The regional specialist controls a fleet of 14 container ships at this point, but acquires a further 13 Panamax container ships in a joint-venture.
CMB Technologies was added to the group. The division focuses on the innovation and development of new technologies and has the goal to implement cost saving technologies, to improve the operational performance, to reduce the emissions and to assure that our new building vessels are future proof.
ASL purchases Farnair, expanding its geographical scope to Central Europe and Asia.
Bocimar orders 10 handysize bulk carriers.
With the long-term charter of three chemical tankers, CMB founds the subsidiary Bochem and enters the chemical tanker market.
A further partial demerger sees Euronav established as a separate entity.
The partial demerger of CMB is approved. Exmar shares are listed and traded on Euronext Brussels. Bocimar dry bulk and Euronav crude oil shipping interests remain within CMB.
CMB sells its insurance division NAVIGA. It also sells its interests in Hessenatie-Noord Natie. These sales allow CMB to focus squarely upon shipping through its own divisions: Bocimar, Euronav and Exmar.
The last CMB interests in the liner services sector are also sold. However, Euronav comes under CMB control. All CMB operational activities ae now run by independent subsidiaries, with CMB playing the role of a holding company.
CMB enters the aviation business, acquiring a stake in Air Contractors Limited, soon to be known as ACL. Their partner in this venture is Safmarine subsidiary Safair.
The remainder of CMB Transport is sold to Safmarine. Safmarine relocate to Antwerp.
Euronav is established as a joint venture involving oil tankers.
Marc Saverys takes over from Jacques Saverys as Managing Director of CMB.
CMB purchases Hessenatie, a cargo-handling company.
CMB Bocimar invests in an extra 11 bulk carriers.
CMB expands further. The CMB cargo handling division is now one of the largest in Europe.
CMB pursues ambitious expansion plans, taking over a number of competitors and transferring its liner trade to a separate division: CMB Transport.
Jacques Saverys is appointed General Manager of CMB.
Jacques Saverys is appointed General Manager of CMB. The tramping market booms. CMB encourages Bocimar to expand.
CMB effectively steps out of its role operating Dart services.
Under Jacques Saverys, CMB Bocimar invests in the construction of four new bulk carriers. Saverys is appointed as a manager of CMB while continuing in his role as General Manager of Bocimar.
CMB purchases tramping company Bocimar, allowing it to continue under the management of Jacques Saverys. With quick growth, it is soon a major presence in the CMB portfolio.
With 17,000 containers and semi-trailers to their name, CMB continues to order more bulk carrying vessels. CMB also operates Dart Europe, a second-generation container ship with a deadweight capacity of 60,000 tons.
In response to the increase in container shipping, CMB forms the Dart consortium with external partners. They continue to invest in container shipping, cranes, trailers and other related infrastructure.
CMB moves into dry bulk shipping with the transport of coal and iron ore. Five bulk carriers are built between 1963 and 1970.
CMB has a fleet of 27 vessels for a total deadweight capacity of 267,232 tons.
With passenger vessels already operating near capacity, CMB invests in new vessels to raise the annual passenger capacity to more than 10,000.
CBMC acquires the Belgian shipowner Lloyd Royal Belge. With their fleet, CBMC is now the largest Belgian shipowner with services to and from the Far East, North America and South America. The company name is changed to Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB). Although services to the Congo are still the lifeblood of the company, the specific Congo image is abandoned.
CBMC places an order for the construction of passenger ships Elisabethville (2) and Thysville. They are completed in 1921. CBMC decides to diversify and invests further in cargo transport. It also acquires controlling interests in various servicing companies.
The Elisabethville is built specially for CBMC. Decorative work includes designs from Belgian artists. Elisabethville comes into service under the Belgian flag and is celebrated for being recognisably Belgian.
The Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo (CBMC) is established by the British Elder Dempster Group. A month later, the German Woermann Linie establishes the Société Maritime du Congo (SMC). Using two liner vessels, the companies agree to provide monthly services to the Congo from Antwerp, carrying passengers, cargo and mail under the Belgian flag. The company is still not Belgian owned.