APM Terminals and ZPMC form strategic partnership geared towards automation

APM Terminals and ZPMC form strategic partnership geared towards automation
The MoU includes an order for 18 STS cranes and nine yard cranes

APM Terminals (APMT) and ZPMC have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), looking to change equipment purchasing from a purely transactional process to a more strategic collaboration with a focus on automation.

The focus of this agreement is the joint development and deployment of a wide range of automated solutions, including automated container handling equipment.

The MoU also includes an order for 18 ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and nine yard cranes across six terminals and the reservation of production slots for an additional 25 STS units and 62 yard cranes in the future.

The terminal operator has highlighted automation as a key part of its ‘Safer, Better, Bigger’ strategy and the company is looking to have access to automated equipment across its terminal portfolio.

However, APMT noted that the common industry practice of transactional customer-supplier relationships has proven less effective in complex automation deployments that require a more integrated approach between the terminal operator and the supplier.

Morten Engelstoft, CEO of APMT, said: “With this alliance, we are leveraging our 23 year-long relationship more effectively, in which APMT demonstrates strong commitment towards ZPMC and in return receives prioritisation of factory capacity, access to the best resources, active involvement in product development according to our needs and a commitment to maintain the relationship on long-term basis.”

ZPMC’s automated equipment is in use at several APMT facilities including Vado Ligure in Italy, Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico and its latest automated terminal in Tangier, Morocco.

Most recently, the company is also running a pilot with ZPMC’s automated straddle carriers in its Aarhus facility in Denmark.

Liu Chengyun, chairman and president of ZPMC, stated: “I hope these good experiences will now translate into even better results for APM Terminals, as we now embark on this strengthened collaboration based on innovation and co-development.”

As well as the automation focus of the agreement, both parties expect the new framework to also spark closer collaboration in areas like safety, supply chain and decarbonisation.