Ocean Carrier Review
Pacific Northwest Ports
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Record volume and result for APM Terminals
APM Terminals handled 9.3 million TEUs (weighted by equity share) during the 3rdQuarter of the year. This is a new record for container volumes to pass through the global port operator’s worldwide portfolio during one quarter.
The Netherlands-based international port and inland services operator also hit a record financial result in a single quarter, reaching USD 196m (USD 155m) in underlying profit. The company recorded a full quarterly profit of USD $203 million, representing a return on invested capital (ROIC) of 14.2%.
APM Terminals has tasked itself to reach yearly profits of USD 1b from 2016 and is according to CEO Kim Fejfer “well under way to reach this target”. The positive development can largely be attributed to the company’s focus on operational improvement as well as continuous ambitious investments particularly in high-growth emerging markets lacking access to modern port infrastructure.
Invested capital increased to USD 5.8bn (USD 4.5bn), and at the same time APM Terminals managed to improve crane lift productivity strongly. Several terminals, where the company has operational control, achieved record productivity levels.
Specific all time high performances were established at APM Terminals’ operations in Rotterdam, Gothenburg and Tangier on the 18,000 TEU capacity Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, which made its maiden voyage to Northern European ports in August and September.
Kim Fejfer stresses that the strive for continuous operational improvement is not a mere race to impress, but a direct consequence of elevated demands from shipping line customers in the port services sector.
“The cascading of bigger vessels will take place at an even faster place. Bigger vessels than ever will come into smaller terminals. Port operators must handle fewer but larger calls, and the demands for efficiency, reliability and speed will be even higher,” says Kim Fejfer who describes the development as a challenge:
“This will lead to cost increases – partly due to lower berth utilization, partly to investments in more equipment and adaptation. The burden of these rising costs will have to be shared between the customers and the port operators,” says Kim Fejfer.
APM Terminals’ Buenos Aires Terminal 4 welcomes the East Coast of South America’s largest vessel ever on July 25, 2013. The 9,700 TEU, 332 meter long Hamburg Süd Cap San Nicholas set a new record for the South American port. The port call illustrates the trend for larger ships being cascaded into secondary trades as 18,000+ TEU ships enter the primary trade of Asia/Europe.
Other significant achievements for APM Terminals during the period were the arrival of the first commercial vessel call at the new Brasil Terminal Portuário (BTP) in the Port of Santos in August, a joint venture with TIL, and the announced acquisition of Russian terminal operator NCC by Global Port Investments, Russia’s largest terminal operating company, in which APM Terminals holds a co-controlling 37.5% share. The official opening of BTP is scheduled for November 28th, and the NCC acquisition is undergoing the required regulatory reviews.
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