APM Terminals Maasvlakte II: The future arrives at the Port of Rotterdam

140220 APM Terminals RotterdamAs Europe’s busiest container port, and the 12th-busiest worldwide, the Port of Rotterdam continues to add capacity to accommodate projected future growth, with the new APM Terminals at the Maasvlakte II site an example of the innovation and efficiency required to meet the transportation infrastructure needs of the 21st Century, with automation dramatically reducing the risk of terminal accidents.

Projected annual container volume growth rates of 5.5% between 2014 and 2020 will bring global container throughput to over 900 million TEUs in 2020, and exceed one billion TEUs by 2022.

The Port of Rotterdam, in The Netherlands, is Europe’s largest and most important container port and transportation hub, with a container throughput of 11.6 million TEUs in 2013, and six million TEUs handled in the first half of 2014.

Rotterdam is also the 12th-busiest container port worldwide, serving as both a gateway for northern and western Europe, and a transshipment hub for cargos moving between Asia and North America, and the emerging markets of Africa and South America.

Notably, The Netherlands was ranked first in the category of Quality of Port Infrastructure in the World Economic Forum’s 2013-14 Global Competitiveness Report.   APM Terminals’ investment will help the port to retain that distinction.

APM Terminals Rotterdam began operations in 2000, and handled 2.8 million TEUs in 2013 as one of the largest container terminals in the port. Industry publication The Journal of Commerce recognized APM Terminals Rotterdam as Europe’s leader in container terminal productivity for the first half of 2014, with 102 crane moves per hour with a vessel alongside, with an award presented at the JOC Europe Port Performance Conference in November 2014.

Increased productivity and safety are both crucial components of APM Terminals’ new container facility currently under construction at the Port of Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte II site, being built upon land reclaimed from the North Sea. APM


Terminals is nearing completion of a highly advanced automated deep-water terminal with the ability to handle the world’s largest containerships, while producing no greenhouse gases from terminal operating equipment.

The new facility is scheduled to become operational early in 2015 with an initial annual throughput capacity of 2.7 million TEUs, increasing to 4.5 million TEUs at full build-out. 

APM Terminals Maasvlakte II’s innovative design is based upon using ship-to-shore (STS) cranes to unload containers from vessels and place them directly on the Lift Automatic Guided Vehicles (Lift AGVs).  The eight STS cranes, among the largest and most technologically advanced world-wide, will be operated remotely, with no one in the crane cabs- an industry first.

The AGVs, which can carry two containers at a time, will automatically bring the containers from the quay to the container yard using an onboard navigation system following a transponder grid.  Once the Lift AGV arrives at its programmed destination, it will place the containers into a series of storage racks.

An Automated Rail-Mounted Gantry crane (ARMG) will move the container from the rack to its next designated location; the rail terminal, a waiting truck or another area of the storage yard.

The use of electrification of all equipment and green energy generated power will enable APM Terminals’ Maasvlakte II facility to be free of all CO2, NOx and particulate emissions.

Source | APM Terminals

Simone Ribeiro
Hi! I'm Simone, a citizen of Britain, where I live for over a decade, and of Brazil, where I was born. Midlands Traveller is where I combine my passion for travelling, business and an Eco-friendly lifestyle.

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