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APM Terminals Moín gives Costa-Rican economy 6-million container boost

  • In 2023, more container movements are reported to have been made at the terminal, representing more than 1.26 million TEUs
  • State-of-the-art technology adopted to improve efficiency and safety of port operations
  • CSR activities have positive impact in the province of Limón with a focus on environmental, educational, sports, cultural and recreational themes

Close to 6 million containers have been handled by APM Terminals during the first five years’ of operation at the Moín Container Terminal (TCM). This achievement is having a positive impact on Costa Rican trade. Its focus on a technologically advanced and sustainable approach has reinforced the safety and operational efficiency of Costa Rica's leading port.

Since 2018, world-class standards have been established for exports and imports, resulting in more than 80 million tons of containerised cargo passing through the terminal and consolidating its essential role in the global supply chain.

"Over these past five years we have experienced a growth that ranks us as one of the best Terminals in Latin America. We have focused on innovation, efficiency and providing a quality service for our customers, the development and growth of our partners and the country. TCM’s performance is reflected in the numbers we have achieved through the hard work of our employees. Now, we are in a solid position to continue being one of the world's leading terminals, and lift the standard of efficiency and reliability," explained José Rueda, General Manager of APM Terminals Moín.

Since its entry into operation, APM Terminals Moín has experienced an increase in container handling, setting the standard in operational efficiency and the ability to adapt to the demands of the global market. Incereasing from 1,009,801 containers to 1,261,262 per annum in 2023, and a total of 5,934,077 containers during the five-year period.


The same trends can be seen in vessel calls. In 2019, 944 vessels were serviced, while in 2023, this number reached 1,074 vessels. The monthly average number of vessels has increased from 12 in 2018 to more than 89 in 2023, demonstrating the continuous development and growing demand for services at the Terminal.

This amount is significant, and as much as three times higher than other ports in the area. Likewise, the work of the TCM is reflected in the time taken to release cargo, which is less than 4 days. This has been recognizsd by the Logistics and Customs Commission of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce.

Enabling trade

APM Terminals Moín has enabled bilateral and multilateral trade, leading the efficient loading and unloading of high-demand products. Its strategic position has boosted international trade, promoting a smooth exchange of goods around the world.

Productivity figures at the terminal have been on the rise over the last five years, results in 2023 being the year with the highest movements made at the Terminal, representing 1.26M TEUs of the almost 6M TEUs made during the five years.

The focus of TCM is mainly exports, which is why it mobilises between 80% and 85% of its annual operations outside the country, covering products such as bananas, pineapples, coffee, tubers and melons. Exports not only generate economic activity, but have also positively impacted thousands of jobs among direct personnel and subcontractors.

Advanced technologies

APM Terminals has been at the forefront of innovation to improve operations. Starting with automated gates, these use an advanced optical character recognition (OCR) system that reads the container's ID and verifies information, including license plates and biometric data. The implementation of an appointment system smooths out traffic at the gates, ensuring safety and operational efficiency.

In addition, TCM has also adopted OCR technology on its Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes, allowing accurate reading and confirmation of container IDs during loading and unloading. This ensures accuracy in the handling of cargo, avoiding errors that could result in incorrect submissions. In addition, the ability to capturing images of the container's condition during these operations meets customer needs for visual record-keeping.

In an effort to improve inventory management and reduce human error, process automation has been implemented on Rubber Tyred Gantry cranes (RTG's). This system provides data in in real time, guiding operators to ensure the correct location of each container.

The main terminal operating system, N4, has been optimised with modules such as Expert Decking and Prime Route, which improves yard strategy. These enable more efficient distribution of containers in the yard and optimises the distance travelled by terminal tractors and trucks in real-time.

N4 dynamically calculates and adjusts task assignments, ensuring operational efficiency even in the face of unforeseen setbacks. This has contributed to a reduction of more than 30% in vessel port stays over the last two years alone and has made APM Terminals Moín a regional benchmark in terms of operational efficiency.

These advancements have not only reduced operational errors, improving process reliability, but have also simplified the workload for staff, allowing them to focus on essential tasks. From the customer's perspective, the implementation of these technologies has generated greater confidence in the services offered by the Terminal, eliminating errors and providing visual evidence of container handling.

"APM Terminals is a company at the forefront of technology to not only strengthen the security and efficiency of our operations, but also to significantly improve our customers' experience. We are committed to continue innovating to keep Costa Rica at the forefront of the best practices in the port industry, contributing to the sustainable development of the global import and export logistics chain," said Mehdi Ben Mouloud, Deputy Director General and Chief Operating Officer of TCM.

Sustainability and social responsibility

Over the past five years, the terminal has lifted the standard of responsibility to the community through a solid strategy of social responsibility and sustainability. Environmental, educational, sports, cultural and recreational objectives have, to date, impacted 16,368 people and various localities in the province of Limón.

As part of its sustainability program, APM Terminals coordinates a conservation project that has released more than 56,000 turtles and entailed more than 2,000 volunteer hours. It has also managed beach cleaning projects, donations to vulnerable areas of Moín and has promoted robotics, education, sports projects for children and young people in Moín, in order to bring well-being into their lives and provide security.

Looking to the future, APM Terminals Moín plans to continue the transformation process in the port industry, adopting emerging technologies, strengthening sustainability and contributing to the economic growth of Costa Rica and its people.

This 5th anniversary is not only a commemorative date, but also a testament to the commitment to maintaining a more connected, efficient and sustainable future in international trade.