APM Terminals this week announced in its second quarter (2Q) interim report an underlying profit of USD159 million despite a volume decrease of 6% compared with 2Q14.
The terminal operator attributed the decline in containers handled to the divestment of two facilities in France and Virginia, US. That decline is likely to continue in the near future after spokesman Tom Boyd announced that APM Terminals was selling its 33% stake in Gioia Tauro terminal in southern Italy.
APM Terminals still operates two terminals in the Gibraltar Straits – Algeciras and Tanger Med. Much of the European volumes previously handled in Italy will be transhipped at those terminals until the Savona terminal is ready.
Gioia Tauro will now be jointly owned by its other operators, Contship Italia (Eurogate Group) and Gitaurco (MSC Group).
It is evident that APM Terminals has lost patience with the delays in reforming Italy’s more traditional ports, which has seen the country lose market share to container facilities in neighbouring countries. Its strategy appears to be to focus on the core ports including Savona being upgraded under Europe’s TEN-T programme, which aims to speed up the transit of cargo across Europe.
While APM Terminals will benefit from quicker access from Savona Vado to west European destinations, at the same time it is looking to invest in a gateway terminal located in the north Adriatic, which is likewise at the southern end of another key trans-European cargo corridor to eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea.