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APM Terminals Moín boosts Costa-Rican trade: six million containers handled

This month, just over five years since operations began in 2018, more than 6 million containers have been handled by APM Terminals Moín (TCM). During this period container volumes have increased from just over 1 million TEUs in 2019 to 1.26 million TEUs in 2023. The average number of vessels calling at the terminal each month has also increased from 12 in 2018 to more than 89 in 2023 – up to three times higher than other ports in the region.

Between 80% and 85% of the terminal’s operations involve the efficient and timely handling of export 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.

"Over these past five years we have experienced a growth that ranks us as one of the best Terminals in Latin America,” explained José Rueda, General Manager of APM Terminals Moín.

“We have focused on lifting the standard of innovation, efficiency and providing a quality service for our customers, the development and growth of our partners and the country. The time taken to release cargo, less than 4 days, has been recognized by the Logistics and Customs Commission of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce. 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 even further."

Advanced technologies

The terminal operates using advanced technologies to maximise efficiency. This includes automated gates that employ an advanced optical character recognition (OCR) system to read container IDs and verify information, including truck license plates and biometric data. The implementation of an appointment system also 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, high-resolution cameras are able to capture images of the container's condition to meet customer needs for visual record-keeping.

Together these systems provide customers with real-time visibility about the status of their containers, 24/7 via


Yard efficiency

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

The company’s standard global terminal operating system, N4, has been optimised with modules such as Expert Decking and Prime Route, which improves yard strategy. This enables more efficient distribution of containers in the yard and optimises the distance travelled by terminal tractors and trucks in real-time.

Reduced port stays

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.

Referring to how these improvements are impacting customers, Mehdi Ben Mouloud, Deputy Director General and Chief Operating Officer of TCM said: "APM Terminals is a company at the forefront of technology to not only strengthen the security and efficiency of 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."

Sustainability and social responsibility

Over the past five years, the terminal has lifted the standard of responsibility to the community. Community activities to support the environment, education, sports, culture and recreation 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

The terminals five-year anniversary is not only a commemorative date, but also a testament to its commitment to maintaining a more connected, efficient and sustainable future in international trade.