APM Terminals opens container terminal on Italian Riviera

Photo of Vado Gateway Terminal

APM Terminals (APMT) said it has opened a new container terminal in Vado Ligure, on the Italian Riviera, which will be capable of handling 900,000 TEUs of containerized cargo.

APMT has a 50.1% share in the “Vado Gateway,” while Cosco Shipping Ports has a 40% share and Qingdao Port International has a 9.9% share. APMT said the project is part of the “New Silk Road.” Chinese firms have invested in more than a dozen European ports in recent years.

“Vado Gateway is the most important port infrastructure development in Italy over the last decades and the result of a 450-million-euro ($500 million) investment,” said APMT, which said it had invested 180 million euros in the project. It said a further 43 million euros has been provided by project financing.

APMT said the Vado Gateway terminal “is expected to significantly increase the competitiveness of the Ligurian and Italian port infrastructure, making it a true hub for cargo moving to the northern part of the country, as well as markets north of Italy, such as Switzerland, Germany or northeast France.”

APMT also operates an adjacent terminal for refrigerated cargo that is capable of handling 250,000 TEUs. It said the terminal is the largest logistic hub in the Mediterranean dedicated to fruit.

APMT said its goal is to “move 40% of containers arriving to or departing from Vado Gateway by rail, taking advantage of the rail infrastructure which is currently under development in Vado. Initially, around 4-5 trains will connect Vado with several intermodal hubs in the North and East of the country, including Milano and Padova, but the number is forecast to increase over time.”

The new terminal has secured two Maersk services, starting in February 2020: the ME2 service, which connects Mediterranean ports to those in the Middle East and India, and the MMX service, which connects the Mediterranean to the Canadian ports of Halifax and Montreal.

Vado Gateway is a semi-automated terminal, and the yard used for container storage and handling will be completely automated. Automatic rail mounted gantry (ARMG) cranes will work autonomously under the remote supervision operators so that no personnel are in the yard while containers are being moved.

The terminal will initially operate on a 450-meter part of the quay. After July 2020, the entire 700-meter quay will be available for use.

With a draft at quay level of 17.25 meters and height of 4.5 meters above sea level, the new terminal will be able to accommodate and operate the latest-generation ultra large container ships without any limitations, said APMT.

The cranes and berths at Vado Gateway will accommodate ultra large containerships. (Image: APM Terminals)

The terminal was commissioned by Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Mar Ligure Occidentale (Western Ligurian Sea System Port Authority). APMT will manage the facility for the next 50 years.