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APM Terminals Pecém sets all-time growth record

Growth shows the strength of Brazilian cabotage and international trade 

Despite the pandemic, APM Terminals Pecém, in Ceará, has set two consecutive records this year with a best-ever September performance and then bettering that with a best-ever October result with 41,000 TEUs and 46,705 TEUs respectively. For the first 10 months, the Pecém Terminal reports 309,051 TEUs, 7.9% over 2019. 

Northeast Consolidation

The strategic location of the port within the supply chain for the shipping lines and final clients is among the key drivers behind growth in the Northeast. Other factors include the bigger liners with larger load capacity, weaker Real, the economic recovery ahead of special dates including Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s eve events and the excellent operations of the local terminal. 

The volumes are also accompanied by important advances at APM Terminals Pecém with the start of the arrival of bigger ships, for example. In August, the terminal received MSC Shuba B, the biggest ship to berth at the state with 330m in length and a 48.2m beam. The giant also marked the start of the fruit harvest in Ceará. 

New Berth

In terms of infrastructure, the inauguration of Pecém Port’s berth 10 increased the terminal’s operational capacity. “To see the cranes running along the tracks was a milestone for APM Terminals Pecém. The new berth 10 has an additional capacity of 300m, positioning Pecém among a small select group of ports in Latin America that can receive New Panamax vessels with draughts of up to 15.3m. The new berth also optimizes our window docking system, reducing waiting times at anchor,” says Daniel Rose, Managing Director for APM Terminals Pecém. 

Consequently, the 2020 recovery was bigger than expected, according to APM Terminals Pecém Comercial Director André Magalhães. “We did not expect such a strong and fast recovery at the start of the third quarter. Cabotage, with its six regular lines to Pecém, has resisted well the COVID-19 impact, consolidating itself as a logistics solution for the region,” he says.

Magalhães adds that the numbers were also boosted by the key fruit harvest with melons, water melons, grapes and mangoes from the São Francisco valley heading to the US and European markets. “This year, we started with 17% exports growth in mangoes to the US and APM Terminals handled practically 70% of the whole São Francisco valley market. In terms of melons, we moved 100% of the volumes this year thanks to bigger ships and a bigger commitment from shipping lines with local clients, avoiding any port call cancellations.” 

Reefer exports saw a 70% jump over the same period a year ago with 16,800 TEUs moved versus 9,900 the year before.