Skip To Content

Brazil a key Latin American market with growth opportunities, APM Terminals confirms

APM Terminals remains strongly focused on investments in Brazil and sees continuous growth opportunities in the country, confirms the company’s Global Head of Growth, on the occasion of his visit to the country. Martijn Van Dongen attended the celebratory ceremony in Suape (Pernambuco), where the company plans to convert part of a shipyard into a new container terminal.

In August, the court of Ipojuca confirmed APM Terminals, the port logistics arm of A.P. Moller – Maersk, as the official winner of the judicial auction for the acquisition of an Isolated Productive Unit (UPI-B Cais Sul) of Estaleiro Atlantico Sul (EAS), in the Port of Suape, Pernambuco. APM Terminals presented a winning bid 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.

Attending the celebratory event in Suape on September 1 with municipal and State authorities, APM Terminals’ Global Head of Growth, Martijn Van Dongen, confirms the company’s strong focus on Brazil as one of the key Latin American markets, where the company has already made significant investments in the past years and where future projects are in the pipeline.

“As the market grows, Brazilian businesses increasingly need logistics solutions to match their ambitions and in order to easily access their import and export markets. We see our role as a container terminal operator in making sure that logistics doesn’t become and obstacle in this, but quite contrary – that it supports the growth ambition and creates opportunities in the future”, comments Martijn Van Dongen.

Infrastructure upgrades

In recent years, APM Terminals upgraded the equipment at its terminal in Pecem (Ceará) – a BRL 150 million investment brought three electric rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes for container operation in the yard and a Ship-to-Shore (STS) crane for ship operations. The equipment was commissioned in time for the 2022 harvest season, which plays a crucial role for local economy.

The terminal has seen a 10% volume growth and record moves in 2021, while also seeing a 6% growth in cabotage specifically. APM Terminals Pecem remains the main gateway for shipments of fruit out of Brazil and in 2021 it recorded a 20% volume growth compared to the year before in the export of fruits from the Brazilian Northeast region to the North American East Coast and Europe. For 2022, the numbers are expected to reach 470 thousand TEUs, which would signify further year-on-year growth.

In addition, to improve handling of refrigerated cargo, which is of great importance for the port, the number of reefer outlets has gradually increased from 1088 to 1388 during 2022, with new outlets installed at the Multi-Utility Terminal (TMUT) doubling the capacity of the area.

BTP, APM Terminals’s joint venture terminal in Santos (São Paulo), expects to renew its concession agreement before the end of the year, adding much needed capacity in the port of Santos. The company has also supported the expansion of the terminal in Itapoa (Santa Catarina), where it holds a 30% share, through the addition of more yard space and container handling equipment (5 RTGs, 9 TTs, 2 Reach Stackers and 1 scanner.

New tender for container terminal in Santos

The container terminal operator is also currently assessing the participation in the Saboo/STS10 tender, for the construction and operation of a 4th container terminal in Santos, which, together with the deepening of the access channel of Santos Port, could unlock significant value to exporters and importers through attraction of bigger vessels to East Coast of South America.

“Our strategy is based on three pillars – Safer, Better, Bigger – and growing where it makes sense for better serving our customers or improving our operational performance is a key element of the «Bigger» component”, adds Martijn Van Dongen.

Van Dongen’s visit to Brazil coincides with the visit of A.P. Moller – Maersk CEO, Søren Skou to Latin America, further confirming the relevance of the region to Maersk and APM Terminals, which will continue to be on the lookout for future opportunities.