Archives For APM Terminals

MarEx APM Tangier 2016Maritime Executive reports that the world’s third largest port operator APM Terminals said it will invest 758 million euros ($858.3 million) in a new transhipment terminal in Tangier, Morocco, that will be the first automated terminal in Africa.

APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark’s shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk, has been named as the operator of the new container transshipment terminal at the Tanger Med 2 port complex. The group already operates the APM Terminals Tangier facility at Tanger Med 1 port, which started operations in July of 2007 and handled 1.7 million TEUs in 2015. The new terminal will have annual capacity of five million TEUs.

Maersk Line, also a part A.P. Moller-Maersk, will be an important customer of the new terminal. The new terminal is scheduled to open in 2019, under the terms of a 30-year concession agreement with the Tanger Med Special Agency (TMSA), which has responsibility for the development and management of the Tanger Med port complex.

The Tanger-Med port complex is strategically located on Africa’s northwest coast near the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea on the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea meet. Tanger-Med is the second-busiest container port on the African continent after Port Said, Egypt. The new APM Terminals MedPort Tangier terminal will increase the port’s total annual throughput capacity to over nine million TEUs.

APM Terminals MedPort Tangier will have up to 2,000 meters of quay length and will feature the technology pioneered at the APM Terminals Maasvlakte II Rotterdam terminal which opened in 2015.

For APM Terminals the Western Mediterranean is an important market. APM Terminals Algeciras, on the Spanish side of the Strait of Gibraltar, operates in tandem with APM Terminals Tangier as an integrated Western Mediterranean transshipment hub. APM Terminals Algeciras handled more than 3.5 million TEUs in 2015, and has completed a major upgrading of its cranes and quay infrastructure to accommodate ultra-large container Ships of 18,000 TEU capacity and above.

The location of the Tangier and Algeciras facilities provide a natural transshipment location for cargoes moving on vessels to and from Africa from Europe and the Far East on the primary East/West shipping route through the Mediterranean Sea; over 200 cargo vessels pass through the Strait of Gibraltar daily on major liner services linking Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa.

While African ports at present account for only 4.5 percent of global port throughput (including transshipment cargoes), the United Nations 2015 World Population Prospects Report projects that more than half of the world’s population growth between 2015 and 2050 will occur in Africa, with the African population more than doubling from 1.1 billion to 2.4 billion over the next three and a half decades.

Significant investment in port and transportation infrastructure will be required to meet the anticipated needs of the expanding African population and corresponding economic growth.

APM Terminals is the largest port and terminal operating company in Africa by equity-weighted container volume, with 12 facilities operating in 10 countries and three more terminals under construction. Source: Maritime Executive

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APM Terminals has released drone footage of its Rotterdam Maasvlakte II terminal. The terminal set a loading record last month on the Madison Maersk with 17,152 TEU loaded, including ten high above deck stowage.

The facility launches the world’s first container terminal to utilize remotely-controlled ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes. The cranes move containers between vessels and the landside fleet of 62 battery-powered Lift-Automated Guided Vehicles (Lift-AGVs) which transport containers between the quay and the container yard, including barge and on-dock rail facilities.

The Lift-AGV’s also represent the world’s first series of AGV’s that can lift and stack a container. A fleet of 54 Automated Rail-Mounted Gantry Cranes (ARMGs) then positions containers in the yard in a high-density stacking system. The terminal’s power requirements are provided by wind-generated electricity, enabling terminal operations, which produce no CO2, emissions or pollutants, and which are also considerably quieter than conventional diesel-powered facilities.

The facility, constructed on land entirely reclaimed from the North Sea, has been designed as a multi-modal hub to reduce truck traffic in favor of barge and rail connections to inland locations.

Construction began in May 2012, with the first commercial vessel call in February 2015.

2015 and 2016 are the years of ramping up operations and refining the terminal operating system. The 86 hectare (212 acre) deep-water terminal features 1,000 meters of quay, on-dock rail, and eight fully-automated electric-powered STS cranes, with an annual throughput capacity of 2.7 million TEU.

At planned full build-out, the terminal will cover 180 hectares (445 acres) and offer 2,800 meters of deep-sea quay (19.65 meters/64.5 feet depth), with an annual throughput capacity of six million TEUs. Source: Maritime Executive

APM Terminals 2The Maersk-owned company APM Terminals has revealed it is investing about 14 billion kroner (US$2 billion dollars) into a new port in Bagadry, Nigeria, in what will be its biggest ever investment. The port will become the second-largest port in Africa – only surpassed by Port Said in Egypt – and is a clear signal that the Danish shipping giant’s terminal operator sees the African continent as a long-term hotbed for economic growth.

“We are currently purchasing property from the state and will start construction later this year. The port is scheduled to be completed in 2019,” David Skov, the managing director for APM Terminals in Nigeria, told Børsen business newspaper.

“Globally, it will be APM Terminal’s largest ever investment and marks a strategic shift to multi ports. It means we will supplement our own experience in container ports with the establishment of a free zone, an oil port and a bulk port, so in other words a complete port.”

APMT recently acted on its decision to invest $1.5 billion on the Port of Tema in Ghana, Africa, with the establishment of a Greenfield port outside of the existing facility and upgrades to the adjacent road network.

singapore-port

Port of Singapore

Projected throughput four years from now compares with 642m teu in 2013 and 674m teu projected for this year. The 2018 projection is double the 2004 throughput figure of 363m teu.

The combination of faster traffic growth and strong profit levels is attracting aggressive new players to enter the container terminal-operator business , according to the 11th Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Review and Forecast report published by shipping consultancy Drewry. It says Africa and Greater China are the regions that will see the most rapid growth.

Overall , growth rates are expected to average an annual 5.6% in the five years to 2018, compared with 3.4% in 2013. That will boost average terminal utilisation from 67% today to 75% in 2018, Drewry forecasts.

“The sector’s strong financial performance and accelerating growth is encouraging new market entrants and renewed merger and acquisition activity in the container ports sector,” said Neil Davidson, senior analyst in Drewry’s ports and terminals practice. “Financial investors are particularly active at present, attracted by typical ebitda margins of between 20% and 45%.”

Drewry has also added two companies to its league table of 24 terminal operators it considers to be global. Both China Merchants Holdings International and Bolloré Group have been growing aggressively. In the case of CMHI further acquisitions are particularly likely. Other operators, such as Gulftainer and Yilport are also expanding rapidly and are challenging for inclusion in Drewry’s league table.

The composition of the top five players, when measured on an equity teu throughput basis, has changed little from last year, except new entrant CMHI which is now in fifth place. PSA again heads the table, by virtue of its scale and 20% stake in Hutchison Port Holdings which comes second. APM Terminals is third, followed by DP World.

Drewry said that by 2018, it expects both HPH and APM Terminals to be vying closely for the top spot in terms of capacity deployed. Most portfolio expansion will be through greenfield or brownfield terminals in emerging markets, led by APM Terminals, International Container Terminal Services, HPH and DP World. “All port and terminal operators are experiencing a number of key industry trends, some of which have wide ramifications,” said Mr Davidson. “The most important trends are deployment of ever-larger containerships, expansion of shipping-line alliances, financial pressures on shipping lines, rapidly emerging international terminal operators and owners, financial investor churn, as well as the gathering pace of terminal automation.” Source: Lloydslist.com

A gala ceremony was held last week to celebrate the official opening of BTP in Santos, Brazil, last week. (Image: APM Terminals)

A gala ceremony was held last week to celebrate the official opening of BTP in Santos, Brazil, last week. (Image: APM Terminals)

“Another BRIC in the Wall” – Brasil Terminal Portuário (BTP) was officially opened last week with a gala ceremony held at the Port of Santos’ new 1.2 million TEU capacity container terminal.

The development of BTP began back in 2007, with APM Terminals acquiring a 50 percent share from Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) in 2010. APM Terminals will operate the terminal alongside TIL for a 20-year period, whilst investing over US$20 billion into the project during this time span.

Although fully equipped and operational since March, commercial operations at BTP could not commence until the terminal was issued International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Certification in April, and granted an operating license from the Brazilian Institute of Environmental and Renewable Natural resources in July.

The first commercial vessel call took place in August, and with scheduled dredging having been completed in October, BTP has become fully operational with 1,108 metres of quay and a 15 metre depth, capable of serving three 9,200 TEU capacity vessel calls simultaneously.

The Port of Santos, the busiest container port in South America, handled 3 million TEU during the 2012 calendar year. Source: Port Technology International

 

Container terminal (CT1) with Nordschleuse in ...

Container terminal (CT1) with Nordschleuse in the foreground, Bremerhaven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Port Technology International’s article is perhaps poignant to current logistics developments in South Africa. Optimisation at the terminal does not only mean improving productivity and reducing operational costs. Optimisation represents a new approach to managing container terminals; it is the most significant driving factor in changing the traditional operational approach and methodology applied at container terminals. It also allows terminals to have a focus on efficiency which needs to address the trade-off between vessel service time, terminal capacity, and cost per move.

In terms of the marine shipping industry, one of the most accurate definitions of optimisation is: “The act of making a system, design or decision as effective or functional as possible.” Optimisation as a discipline is an ancient science best illustrated over time.

The history of optimisation

Greek mathematicians used to solve optimisation problems related to geometrical studies. After the invention of calculus, mathematicians were then able to address more complex optimisation problems. Following the start of the World War II and the advent of the operations research field, the concept and practice of optimisation began to develop and received significant academic and industrial focus. Mr J. Von Neumann, a leading individual behind the development of operations research, contributed substantially to the field of algorithmic research. And in the 60s and 70s, complexity analysis began to further support the use of optimisation. Then, in the 80s and 90s as computers became more efficient, algorithms for global optimisation with the purpose of solving large-scale problems began to gain momentum and credibility.

Considering the present

The continual advancements in technology with respect to computing power along with significant research in applied mathematics and computer science have solidified the value of optimisation to the industry and the end user. This has enabled advanced theory to be applied in a way that has sometimes invisibly improved our lives during last 20 years. The progress is amazing. Today, companies such as UPS and Federal Express utilise complex routing algorithms for resource allocation and supply chain distribution to deliver an item to our door with seamless efficiency. Their results have in turn changed the way millions of us find information, shop, and even do our jobs.

Today, many industries use optimisation as a more general term that covers areas from manufacturing process efficiency to improved distribution techniques. The core objective of optimisation is improving and controlling the process – whatever it may be – and allowing people with responsibilities in those areas to make better decisions. Operations research, for example, is a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions at the right time and within the time constraints of a live operation.

As with other industries, the shipping and container space is currently going through its own step change to achieve new levels of operational productivity in response to mega-trends, such as globalisation and sustainable operations. To compete, ports and terminals have decided they need to adapt to their changing demands by optimising their activities in areas such as berthing allocation, vessel planning, fleet size optimisation, shift resource planning and equipment scheduling. All of these areas are critical for minimising the cost per move factors and maximising overall terminal performance and throughput.

Optimisation also provides the intelligence and the tools to support this changing industry, but it is not meant to be a black box. A container terminal is a very complex system with many unpredictable variables. Those focused on achieving optimisation will need to be able to control, monitor and configure the behaviour of this intelligence behind the machine and systems, filling any critical gaps between the planning and execution.

Containerised cargo makes up about 60 percent of all dry cargo trade in the world; since the advent of the cargo container more than 50 years ago, this number continues to grow. The appeal of containerised cargo is well known – cargo can be seamlessly transported from origin to destination via a variety of modes without the need to unload and reload its contents. The marine container terminal is at the junction of water, rail and truck transport modes. And as a consequence, marine container terminals are some of the most essential, yet challenging, links in the global supply chain. Source: Port Technology International

Port of Agapa, NigeriaNearly one in three African countries is landlocked, accounting for 26% of the continent’s landmass, and 25% of the population, or more than 200 million people, indicating that current population growth trends, including the development of population megacities distant from coastal locations will become powerful drivers of inland markets.

At the 3rd Annual Africa Ports, Logistics & Supply Chain Conference, APM Terminals’ Director of Business Development and Infrastructure Investments for the Africa-Middle East Region, Reik Mueller stated that “Ports will compete to become preferred gateways to move goods efficiently to inland cities and landlocked countries” Mr. Meuller added that “The future prosperity of these nations depends on access to the global economy and new markets; high-growth markets need inland infrastructure and logistics capabilities along development corridors. The ports that can provide the best and most efficient connectivity to those Inland markets will be the winners”.

Citing the recent success in reducing port congestion through Inland Container Depots (ICDs) now in operation outside of the APM Terminals operated port of Luanda, Angola, the Meridian Port Services joint venture in Tema, Ghana, and the ICD which was opened four km from APM Terminals Apapa, the busiest container terminal in Nigeria and all of West Africa, Mr. Mueller made the case for integrated transportation solutions, “Importers are not going to wait for improved infrastructure; the cargo will simply move to other ports” said Mr. Mueller.

Mueller described a new model for transportation planning and development in West Africa in which port and terminal operations shift focus from “container lifts” toward “integrated container transport solutions. Dry ports and inland markets are the untapped, overlooked opportunity markets of the future in Africa”. Now ain’t this a contrast to views on the southern tip of the continent – the continent’s biggest port without efficient inland corridors and networks must jeopardize investor confidence not to mention export profitability.   Sources: DredgingToday.com, PortStrategy.com and Greenport.com.