APM Sells One Rotterdam Terminal to Hutchison Ports

APMT Rotterdam (file image courtesy APMT)

Published Dec 19, 2019 5:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

A.P. Moller-Maersk's port operations arm, APM Terminals, announced Wednesday that it has reached an initial agreement to sell one of its two Rotterdam container terminals to Hutchison Ports, the world's largest independent terminal operator. 

The deal is based on an agreement that, in the short term, APM Terminals Rotterdam will continue to exist as an independent organization. It comes with a five-year cargo volume guarantee from A.P. Moller-Maersk and a guarantee from Hutchison of no forced terminal staff redundancies within four years. For the long term, Hutchison Ports has indicated that they are interested in seeking an extension of the terminal's lease.

With an annual capacity of 3.25 million TEU, APMT Rotterdam is one of the largest container terminals in Europe. It is an important transshipment center for the UK, Scandinavian and Baltic markets, with strong intermodal connections to inland continental Europe. Hutchison already owns the neighboring ECT Delta Terminal, raising the possibility of synergies. 

APMT will be keeping its ultra-modern 2.7 million TEU Maasvlakte II terminal, which is located about one mile to the west of APMT Rotterdam. At Maasvlakte II, APMT's automation investments cover about 80 percent of all crane movements, and automated electric shuttle trucks carry containers around within the terminal. With the delivery of an additional two STS cranes, Maasvlakte II is set to expand its capacity by 20 percent in 2019. 

APMT is in talks over the sale agreement with its trade unions and with its Works Council (EWC), a labor consultative body required for some multinational corporations in the Netherlands. It will also have to request approval from anti-trust regulators.