In an exclusive interview with CM, the CEO of APM Terminals Kim Fejfer, has said that it is up to container terminals and port operators to deal with the problems caused by the growing size of ships and alliance agreements.
When asked if shipping lines should be more considerate about the problems mega-ships and alliances can cause, he said these changes are “a natural evolution of ship design and business goals. Port operators need to keep pace with industry changes”.
These problems have occurred most dramatically on the US West Coast and, when asked if he envisioned a long-term shift of cargo to the East or Gulf Coasts, Fejfer said that this was up to the import/export community.
He was speaking just after the official opening of the APMT Maasvlakte II terminal in Rotterdam, at which the company claims customers can experience a 40% higher level of productivity due to the level of automation.
“We are excited to see how far we can go with productivity levels at Maasvlakte II,” he said, “we are adding more vessel calls this year. The first year of operations for any new terminal is always a year of refining processes and working closely with customers and users of the port.”
The company has announced a target of US$1bn profit in 2016 and Fejfer told CM that his company’s “approach is to simply build on our strength as a global port operator” rather than increasing investment in non-containerised activities.
In 2014, the company, which is a subsidiary of the Maersk Group, made a profit of US$900m.