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New terminal reaches milestone less than 10 months after starting operations.

APM Terminals new Moín Container Terminal celebrated handling its one millionth TEU on 11 December 2019.


“This milestone, achieved in less than 10 months of operation, is particularly significant, as the next phase of the terminal will be built when an annual volume of 1.5 million TEUs is reached. APM Terminals has a 30-year concession to operate the terminal,” APM Terminals Moín stated.


The millionth TEU was unloaded from a fully cellular container vessel, which represents an important step forward for Costa Rica. “Productivity exceeded an impressive 28 movements per hour on each crane,” said APM Terminals Moín, adding that the 1,000 local members of staff have broken multiple productivity records since the opening of the terminal in February this year.


"As a team, we are very proud to achieve this millionth movement in the TCM, a world-class Terminal that brings well-being and development to the community, to the country and to the region, " said Hartmut Goeritz, MD of APM Terminals Moín.


APM Termianls Moín has fundamentally changed and improved Costa Rica’s container logistics, but at the same time it has been difficult for local and regional government to deal with job losses at state owned port operator JAPDEVA as the container business shifted from Limón to the new terminal. “ As part of its commitment to Costa Rica, APM Terminals has so far contributed approximately US$11 million to be administered and invested by the Government in projects that generate development and employment for the province of Limón,” APM Terminals Moín concluded.


Source: WorldCargo News

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APM Terminals and Hutchison Ports have signed a letter of intent for the takeover of APM Terminals Rotterdam, the older of APMT’s two Rotterdam terminals

As previously surmised, the buyer for the terminal turns out to be Hutchison Ports.


The conventional, straddle carrier-direct 2.5M TEU terminal will be acquired by Hutchison, subject to permission of the works council, trade unions and the Dutch merger and monopolies body.


The "heads of agreement" features a five-year volume guarantee from Maersk Line and a ban on compulsory dismissals over the next four years. Also the terminal must remain an “independent” organisation “for the time being,” meaning that it would not be incorporated into Hutchison’s subsidiary ECT directly.


The 100-ha APMT-Rotterdam terminal is the facility with which ECT started operating on its Maasvlakte I Delta Peninsula in the early 1980s. The terminal had to be sold by ECT by order of the European Commission as a condition of the permit for ECT and its then partner P&O Nedlloyd to build Euromax.


Source: WorldCargo News

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At an extraordinary meeting on 11 December, Latvia’s government called on the nation’s parliament to change legislation to enable the Baltic State to take over the ports of Riga and Ventspils from the respective city councils

Concerned about US sanctions, the Latvian cabinet has already worked out a plan to set up a new company with a minimum charter capital of €35,000 to manage the Freeport of Ventspils and the Freeport of Riga. Under the plan, the Transport Minister Talis Linkaits will appoint new port Boards, while those appointted by Riga and Ventspils’ city councils earlier will step down immediately.


On 9 December, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions under the so-called Magnitsky Act on a number of “corrupt actors and their networks” across numerous countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Aivars Lembergs, the suspended Ventspils Mayor and prominent Latvian oligarch, has found himself on the sanctions list.


Passed back in December 2012, the Magnitsky Act allows the US authorities to arrest assets owned by people accused of violating human rights and suspected of corruption, as well as deny them entry to the US.


“Lembergs has served as the Mayor of Ventspils, Latvia, since 1988," reads the OFAC statement. "From that time, he has been repeatedly accused of money laundering, bribery, and abuse of office. Lembergs controls entities through political parties and corrupt politicians, and systematically exploits those entities and individuals for his own economic gain.

Aivars Lembergs...
...was in charge of the Freeport of Ventpsils as the city's Mayor

"Lembergs has used his influence over leadership of political parties to shape government personnel and place certain government officials in positions, as well as obstruct other government officials from obtaining leadership positions.

"Additionally, Lembergs has leveraged and corrupted law enforcement officials to protect his interests and subvert politicians whom he otherwise was unable to control.”


As long as the OFAC sanctions affect four legal entities, including the Ventspils Freeport Authority (VFA), associated with Aivars Lembergs, the measures taken by the Latvian government are meant to separate VFA from the port’s operations, in the words of the country’s Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins.


As far as the Freeport of Riga is concerned, some "individuals and their legal entities," added the US black list, "have a great deal of influence also in Riga,". The Latvian government, therefore, deems it necessary to take urgent action to protect the port’s business.


Furthermore, the US sanctions against Aivars Lembergs have “created an opportunity to reduce corruption at the ports and sort out their general administration,” said the government. That is why, after the steps that should be taken immediately, the government will consider other changes to help improve port operations and management in the future.

Meanwhile, Aivars Lembergs has left VFA’s board “in order to avoid disrupting its activity and competitiveness,” whilst calling the corruption allegations against him “fake news.”

The US Department of the Treasury has given the companies working at the Freeport of Ventspils 30 days to wind down their operations with the sanctioned entities. After that, Latvia will reportedly be able to ask Washington to extend the 30-day period.


Riga, the country’s largest port, saw a 10.5% y/y decrease in its handling volume (to 23.9 Mt) during the first nine months of 2019. It handled 15 Mt (down 12.8% y/y) of dry bulk, 6.2 Mt (down 3.1% y/y) of general cargo and 2.7 Mt of liquid cargoes (down 12.2% y/y). In 2018 Riga handled 36.4 Mt, down 8.2% on 2017.


Ventspils is Latvia’s second biggest port. During the three quarters of the current year, it increased its total handling volume by 10% year-on-year to 16.6 Mt, including 7.9 Mt of liquid bulk (down 1% y/y), 6.8 Mt of dry bulk (up 35% y/y) and 1.9 Mt of general (down 7% y/y) cargoes, according to the port’s data. Container handling slumped by 90% y/y over the period to 216,000 TEU. In 2018 the port handled 20.3 Mt (up 1% on 2017).


Since Soviet times, Russia’s oil, coal and grain exports to Europe have made up the bulk of cargo flows handled by the Latvian ports. However, since the 2000s, Moscow has been aggressively developing own handling facilities on the Baltic coast, and encouraged them to take export flows over from the Baltic States’ counterparts.

The Port of Klaipeda's success can be emulated, says LLA's Chairman Normunds Krumins

Therefore, Russian market experts tend to believe that the planned change of the Latvian ports’ ownership will not really strengthen their competitive positions, at least in the short run. They point to possible problems in managerial decisions, delegation of powers, transport and logistics bottlenecks.


On the other hand, the future "nationalisation" of the Latvian ports may result in an unforeseen breakthrough in their development, said Normunds Krumins, Chairman of the Latvian Logistics Association.


He believes that port management reform has been a strong point in the policy of other governments in the Baltic countries over the past 15–17 years and that the throughput of this or that port mainly depends on the managerial skills of its administration.


For instance, the state-run Seaport of Klaipeda in neighbouring Lithuania has seen steady increases in volumes and capacity, under well-managed government programmes and development strategies.


Source: WorldCargo News

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