Maersk’s APM Terminals Wins Bidding for Port in Northern Brazil

Saupe Brazil
Saupe is one of Brazil's busiest ports and will become APM's fifth location in the country (Saupe)

Published Aug 19, 2022 8:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

Maersk is continuing to pursue the expand its terminal business as part of the efforts to create a full-service logistics company. After the record performance of the company and with the expectation that 2022 will generate an additional $24 billion or more in free cash flow, the company is in a strong position to execute its plan to acquire possibly a few terminals each year.

APM announced that it has been named the winner in a bidding contest for the acquisition of a terminal located in the northeast region of Brazil in the port city of Saupe. It will become APM’s fifth location in Brazil in what the company calls a highly strategic position that plays a vital role in Brazilian logistics. The Port of Suape, located near the city of Recife, is among the top 10 container ports in Brazil, being the eighth largest in throughput.

“Suape has a great growth potential, and our vision is to invest in a terminal that will add additional growth opportunities for Brazil’s northeast region,” said Leo Huisman, APM Terminals Managing Director for the Americas Region. “We believe more competition in the region will unlock value to exporters/importers and attract new cargo flows, helping the Port of Suape grow at a faster pace.”

APM Terminals was confirmed by the court of Ipojuca as the winner of the judicial auction for the acquisition of an Isolated Productive Unit of Estaleiro Atlantico Sul, in the Port of Suape. APM Terminals entered its bid in the contest on July 26 for the acquisition of the area in the context of its judicial recovery process, to develop and operate a container and general cargo terminal.
APM Terminals plans to invest up to approximately $500 million in a new container terminal in the area. When completed, it will begin operations with an initial capacity of 400,000 TEUs, which will increase the port’s current capacity by 55 percent.

Once all regulatory approvals have been obtained and the permits required to build the facility are issued, APM Terminals plans to finalize construction within 24 months and expects the terminal to be fully operational by the end of 2025. The dredging of the access channel and turning basin should also be completed by that time. The company said it will also consider steps for reducing emissions at the terminal as part of its plan to achieve net zero by 2040.

“We expect that the market will benefit from the additional capacity, potentially making Suape a “hub” for the northeast,” said Leonardo Levy, Growth Manager for the Americas Region for APM. As part of the expansion, the goal is to attract new direct services to the Far East and Europe.

APM currently operates more than 70 terminals worldwide. In the Americas, APM Terminals operates 15 terminals in eight countries noting that it has been investing in Brazil as the country moves to privatize port operations to support future growth.