Addressing TOC Europe 2008 in Amsterdam, Sondergaard warned that “the clock is running”. He listed areas of ‘significant emerging concern’ being confronted by container terminal operators as volumes and vessels continue to expand on an annual basis, yet the terminal development projects needed to meet this growth are measured in decades, from initial planning to start of operations.
“We must find ways to improve capacity in existing terminals and at the same time make these terminals safer, more secure and environmentally friendly”, he said.
Citing recent innovation and technological advances implemented at facilities in the APM Terminals Global Terminal Network, Sondergaard stated that the projected increase in container throughput over the next 10 years will bring bigger challenges and the need for greater security enforcement, environmental mitigation and emission reduction.
Turning to container handling equipment manufacturers, he asked for the development of further technology to maximise capacity, as well as a focus on safety and reducing energy consumption and emissions, emphasising that “increasingly buying decisions will be based on these factors”.
Sondergaard stated that with revenue of US$2.5 billion last year and investment at over US$850m in terminals and terminal equipment, APM Terminals had already seen revenue in Q1 for 2008 increase by 27% in comparison with the same period last year, which saw an overall container throughput measured by equity share of 31.4m TEUs worldwide.
Speaking of the industry in general he added, “We are in an exciting era of economic expansion and unprecedented world commerce, in which we all play a central role. People depend upon us to keep the global logistics chain growing and in good order. They depend upon us for innovation and advancement in processes and technology.”