Emphasising the importance of China’s role in growing world trade, Chinese Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan and a delegation of Chinese officials toured the new facility on September 23, 2006. APM Terminals has agreed to sell 40% of its Zeebrugge shares to Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), the largest port operator in China, in the latest stage of a collaboration between the two groups that dates back to 2003.
Peder Sondergaard, COO at APM Terminals, said: “We are pleased to offer more than 60 shipping line customers this new port in Zeebrugge which integrates into our global network of more than 40 terminals. The terminal is an important, strategic investment in building the European container port infrastructure necessary to handle global container trade, which is currently growing at 8% a year.”
The new terminal has fast access to main shipping lanes, with no locks or rivers to transit. It has seven post-Panamax gantry cranes, 23 straddle carriers and two rail-mounted gantry cranes initially. It also has a fully automated truck gate, with good inland connections by road, rail and barge to central European destinations in the Benelux countries, southern Germany and northern France. It has 900 m of quay, with a total concession for 1,300 m, and a 48 ha container yard.