SEBERANG PERAI, Aug 26 — The CMA CGM Group today launched its new block train service connecting Penang and the open container depot in Padang Besar, Perlis — the gateway to southern Thailand.

The new weekly service is in partnership with Infinity Logistics and Transport Ventures Limited (Infinity) and is dedicated to CMA CGM customers in north Malaysia and South Thailand.

CMA CGM Malaysia managing director Ravindra Sahu said the new service aims to provide a seamless rail and sea multimodal solution to exporters, especially those from southern Thailand who ship their cargo through the Penang Port.

“Each week, up to 100 containers on rail are dedicated for CMA CGM shippers,” he said in his speech during the official launching ceremony at the North Butterworth Container Terminal here this morning.

The Padang Besar depot is also CMA CGM Group’s third in Malaysia, complementing the ones in West Port and North Port in Port Klang, Selangor.

Ravindra said the containers will be picked from Padang Besar and head for the Penang Port before being shipped to export destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Qingdao in China, as well as Busan in South Korea.

He said an on-dock rail track has been built adjacent to the new depot, which offers better connectivity and efficiency in handling containers.

He said the depot covers 14,000sqm and is able to handle containers of Twenty-foot Equivalent Units — TEUs for short — which is the unit used to measure cargo capacity for container ships.

He also said the new depot also specialises in handling container grade selection.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who officiated the launch today, said the new block chain service and depot will facilitate connection between suppliers and manufacturers.

“This is definitely the way to move forward,” Chow said.