At the conference “Future Ports” held in Stockholm 25th-26th April, APM Terminals’ Head of Project Implementation, Soren Sjostrand Jakobsen, told delegates that increasing productivity to meet customer demand is critical for container terminals.
“Our customers are building bigger and bigger ships and it is imperative that we are able to increase our delivered productivity at minimum the same pace as the ships grow – but preferably much more” Mr. Jakobsen said.
Close to 80% of the new container vessel capacity coming in the next couple of years are super post-panamax vessels. Shipping lines need these big vessels to compete but clearly cannot afford these to remain in port for days. “The container transportation market is expected to continue growing in the years to come and terminal operators have to find ways to increase productivity. APM Terminals has a range of initiatives to improve processes as well as applying new and innovative solutions and technology to lift productivity” Mr. Jakobsen stated. “We – and other terminals operators I’m sure – have terminals in their portfolio where a 40-50 % productivity improvement is not an unrealistic goal and even for high performing terminals it is possible to improve further“.
Mr. Jakobsen also told delegates that though all these initiatives require a lot of investment it actually makes good financial sense for the terminal operator. “Improving productivity gets you free capacity, reduces cost, improves your product and you get happy customers. If we can improve productivity by 50% in a one million TEU capacity terminal we create a game-changer in the industry for our customers through better economics, reliability and capacity availability”.
“Productivity will be the battleground for terminal operators and those who are able to meet our customers’ requirements will be the winners“, Mr. Jakobsen predicted.
Dredging Today Staff, May 2, 2012; Image: APM Terminals