CMA CGM Marco Polo

The World's largest containership

396 meters long / 16,000 TEUs


Focus on vessel supplies – interview with Julien Garro, Procurement Manager CMA Ships

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Where, how and how often does a vessel need to stock up on supplies?

In terms of purchases for a vessel, the requirements are about the same as in any industry for propulsion, navigation or cargo equipment maintenance, but it also requires more specific supplies to meet the needs of daily life on board.

There are several types of supplies: spare parts, consumables (tools, paint, etc.), provisions for the crew and lubricating oil.

Requests for supplies are dealt with on a quarterly basis in the key ports (unless there are special needs) for parts required for scheduled maintenance, lube oils and provisions.

The Procurement Department either delivers to North Europe ports of call, mainly from the warehouse at Le Havre, or arranges for supplies to be made available at the ports where vessels make a call. Among the items bought and delivered are spare parts for engines, electrical equipment, paint, office supplies, tools, lube oil, safety equipment, medicines, sheets, blankets, etc.

In the case of the CMA CGM MARCO POLO, lube oils are purchased in Rotterdam on each trip, for consumables we generally supply these in Khor Fakkan, and spare parts in the Far East from the original manufacturer or approved supplier.

How is the Procurement Department organised?

To meet the specific needs of vessels, particularly the CMA CGM MARCO POLO, we have an international team based in Great Britain, Asia (Singapore and Taiwan) and also France, where the majority are at the Head Office in Marseille.

Their mission is two-fold:

Procurement: negotiating, optimising purchases in terms of quality and quantity while controlling costs, and centralizing requests. The skill is being able to juggle the synergies and economies of scale created by a steadily expanding fleet.

Logistics: providing the best service without a break in the supply chain, while avoiding any quayside delays for want of a vital spare part and fitting in with the schedules of vessels that are constantly on the move.


On 5 November, the CMA CGM Group took delivery of the biggest vessel in its fleet and currently the world’s largest (capacity) containership, the CMA CGM MARCO POLO capable of carrying up to 16,000 TEUs.
With this blog, you will find out all about the vessel as well as many interesting aspects of a merchant fleet: from building the vessel, to training those who sail on her, the goods carried and the technical innovations to protect the environment.