The new APM Terminals Maasvlakte II container terminal, designed to be the world’s safest, most technologically advanced and automated container handling facility, began landside commercial operations with the opening of the high tech truck gates, launching a new era of automation to improve trucker efficiency and reduce turntimes.
The 86 hectare (212 acre) terminal includes a 500-meter barge quay, 1,000-meter deep quay and an ondock rail terminal with four tracks of 750 meters. Two barge quay cranes and two rail cranes are part of the landside investment in the 2.7 million TEU annual capacity deep-water terminal.
Rail traffic currently comprises 15% of the overall Port of Rotterdam’s volume. The new facility was specifically designed to increase rail volume through the port with a dedicated ondock railyard. Testing of the on-dock rail terminal has included weekly train service using two dedicated wide-span rail cranes and several Rail-Mounted Gantry cranes (RMGs) in the automated container storage yard. Today, the rail terminal offers three weekly services to interior European markets. In 2015, the frequency of trains will increase to 10+ per week to expand the supply chain capacity.
The terminal also features a dedicated barge terminal to efficiently handle 24-hour barge operations. The barge quay crane operators will operate within the crane cabs, as opposed to the eight, super-Post Panamax Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes, which will be the world’s first remote-controlled terminal quay cranes. The barge quay features a 10-meter depth – as compared with the deep-sea quay depth of 20-meters, capable of accommodating the largest vessels now in service in the global container ship fleet and future generations of ships. With the dedicated barge quay, a more reliable service can be offered to barge operators.
“With this new, advanced terminal design and operating concept, we believe the landside operation is as important to the terminal’s operations as the seaside; efficient, seamless movement across all modalities is a critical success factor for our customers,” said APM Terminals Maasvlakte II Managing Director, Frank Tazelaar.
The first main line vessel will arrive in December and the frequency will increase during 2015 with the first regular service commencing February 2015.
In the port of Rotterdam, APM Terminals also operates the APM Terminals Rotterdam Maasvlakte I facility, one of the busiest within the company’s Global Terminal Network, handling 2.28 million TEUs in 2013.