In 2021, APM Terminals celebrates its 20th anniversary as an independent business within A.P. Moller – Maersk. While reflecting on those eventful two decades under its own brand, the company looks into the future and makes bold steps on its transformation journey, according to the company’s release.
On February 1st, 2001, an independent business unit was formed within A.P. Moller – Maersk to solely focus on terminal operations and have the ability to service third-party carriers. On June 25th the same year, the APM Terminals brand came into existence, marking the birth of an organisation that one year into its operations would already have a stake in 30 ports and terminals, annual throughput of 15 million TEU and employ 7,000 people.
Fast forward to 2021, APM Terminals is the third largest terminal operator globally, playing a key role in ensuring undisrupted supply chains, with continuous focus on safety, operational performance and productivity to better serve its shipping and landside customers. Present in 42 countries with 75 terminals and with 22,000 employees around the world, the company is also embracing technology and new digital solutions in an industry often perceived as analogue and traditional.
“Back in 2017, we launched the strategy of being the best-in-class terminal operator to strengthen our foundation, improve performance in the short term and lay the groundwork for our long-term aspirations,” explains Morten Engelstoft, APM Terminals CEO. “This work has certainly set us on the right path, and we are now well-positioned to refine our strategy by introducing the idea of ‘Safer, Better, Bigger’.”
The “Safer” component reflects APM Terminals’ commitment to protecting its people from harm, while creating a safety culture where leaders and frontline staff are deeply involved in understanding the work done and the risks involved, but more importantly – what they can do together to make it safer. As such, it is an area where no compromise is allowed.
“Better” means that APM Terminals will continue to build on the way it serves its customers and focus on improving financial performance, with the Way of Working playing a key role as a “machine” of continuous improvement in all aspects. Some other key elements of this pillar include a step-change in the approach to terminal automation, better asset management and additional technology and digital-enabled solutions for customers.
Finally, “Bigger” is APM Terminals’ licence to grow its business again, but in a way that allows it to successfully execute on its plans and do so with attractive returns.
2020 already marked some milestone developments aimed at future growth, like formal steps towards port expansion in Poti (Georgia), ramping up the terminal in Tema, Ghana, additional berths in Yokohama (Japan) and a ground-breaking ceremony for the new joint venture terminal in Cote d’Ivoire, expected to be operational at the end of 2021. APM Terminals also attracted new shipping lines and their liner services to its facilities and continued to upgrade its equipment fleet and increase operational capabilities around the world. In early 2021 the new terminal in Kalundborg, Denmark became operational and in June 2021, APM terminals, together with its local Croatian partner Enna, was awarded the concession for a new container terminal in Rijeka, Croatia (pending regulatory approvals).
“APM Terminals plays a vital role, not only in the global supply chain, but also in local economies where we operate. Ports enable trade and thereby the lives of the millions of people who make and use the products that pass through our 75 ports and terminals,” shares Keith Svendsen, Chief Operating Officer at APM Terminals.