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Lean champ goes full throttle on efficiency

At APM Terminals, we follow Lean business practices which – as the name indicates – include the core principle of removing waste and stripping back the superfluous so that processes are completed as safely and efficiently as possible. For many of our teammates, the drive to lift the standards of efficiency and reliability is finding fusión with personal passions, as in the case of Ricardo Alexis Alvarado Ruiz, supervisor at APM Terminals Moin, Costa Rica. He was part of the ‘pit stop’ team where reefer trucks enter the terminal after a much-reduced inspection time.

How does APM Terminals’ approach to Lean business practices help you lift the standard of efficiency?

"At APM Terminals Moin, Costa Rica, but also at all of our global terminals, we follow Lean business practices. In our Lean academy course, we saw a video about the 1950 Indianapolis Formula One pit stop, which lasted 67 seconds. Then the video compared that to the Ferrari team's 1.8-second pit stop in Melbourne in 2013. I was blown away. And I thought to myself - that's the kind of speed and precision we're aiming for." 

How does your passion for Formula One influence your work?

"Just like a pit crew fine-tunes every second, we tackle inefficiencies head-on. At the washing area station, we were receiving several trucks that, due to their requirements, were taking way too long to process. Inspired by the rapid pit stops in F1, we overhauled our approach, ensuring these trucks are now serviced in record time. It's all about getting back on track faster." 

Tell us a little bit more about yourself regarding your personal life and interests.

"I'm passionate about maintaining a healthy, balanced life. I love mountain biking and functional exercises – they keep me on my toes, just like a thrilling race. Spending quality time with my children is something I enjoy to the fullest. I strive to be kind and gentle, to have empathy for others. I like to be structured and orderly but flexible at the same time, much like navigating a race track with precision and adaptability. 

“Additionally, I'm involved in solidarity initiatives to support people in need, joining my family in social welfare activities managed by APM Terminals, that’s work that I find very fulfilling because I don’t just work here, I live in the community close to the terminal, it makes me and my family happy to know I work in a company that cares about not only the people in the terminal, but those nearby.” 

Speaking of pride, what has been your proudest achievement in the years you have worked at APM Terminals?

Well, I’m very proud of the recent achievement where we cut truck turn times from 40 to 4 minutes. I might not be in a formula one pit, but applying the precision and speed of Formula One to our workplace has meant that we are part of a well-oiled machine. Myself and my team mates are highly motivated. For us, having happy truckers and happy customers, getting things done as fast and well as possible is every bit as thrilling as crossing the finish line in record time.”