Maersk affiliate APM Terminals is injecting USD200 million at Cartagena Terminal in Colombia as evidence of its confidence in continuing growth in Latin America.
APMT and Compania de Puertos Asociados (Compas), a Colombia-based terminal operating company, have agreed to jointly manage and operate Compas’s Cartagena Terminal.
After the deal closes, APMT will hold a 51% share in the joint venture that will run the facility. Compas will continue to be the concession holder.
The investment includes buying larger cranes to allow the terminal to handle the 14,000 teu vessels that will be able to transit the Panama Canal when the wider locks open next April.
While many terminals in the region are designed as a drop-off point for container transhipment to other countries, APMT’s investment is targeting growth in Colombia, the second-largest market in South America.
“Colombia is one of those target markets that is very interesting for an operator like ourselves,” APMT vice-president Joe Nielsen told IHS Maritime.
“Their economic growth is allowing them to compete in the world markets, and we would expect to see container volume there to grow at above-average rates for Latin America.”
The companies said the upgrade would triple annual throughput capacity for the Cartagena Terminal, which currently stands at 250,000 teu.
APMT’s Latin American interests handled an overall combined container throughput of 2.1 million teu in 2014, the company said.