APM Terminals and ZPMC strike equipment automation deal

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APM Terminals (APMT) and Chinese equipment manufacturer Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited (ZPMC) have entered a strategic alliance on equipment purchasing.

The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will change equipment purchasing from a transactional process to strategic collaboration – with a focus on automation.

Signed on 11 October by APMT CEO Morten Engelstoft and ZPMC Chairman and President Liu Chengyun in a virtual ceremony, the MoU also includes an order for 18 Ship-to Shore (STS) Cranes and nine Yard cranes across six terminals and the reservation of production slots for additional 25 STS cranes and 62 Yard cranes in the future.

Automation is one of the key components of APMT’s strategy of “Safer, Better, Bigger”.

APMT wrote that it is critical for the company to have access to adequate, state-of-the-art automated equipment for its terminal portfolio. However, the industry practice of transactional customer-supplier relationships has proven less effective in complex automation deployments that require a more integrated approach between APMT and the supplier.

The focus of this memorandum is the joint development and deployment of a wide range of automated solutions, including automated container handling equipment.

Engelstoft commented, “With this alliance, we are leveraging our 23 year-long relationship more effectively, in which APM Terminals demonstrates strong commitment towards ZPMC and in return receives prioritisation of factory capacity, access to the best resources, active involvement in product development according to our needs and a commitment to maintain the relationship on long-term basis.

ZPMC Chairman and President Liu Chengyun highlighted the progress his company has already made in several domestic automation projects in China.

“I hope these good experiences will now translate into even better results for APM Terminals, as we now embark on this strengthened collaboration based on innovation and co-development”, Chengyun added.

As well as the automation focus of the MoU, both parties expect the new framework to also spark closer collaboration in areas like safety, supply chain and decarbonisation.

ZPMC’s automated equipment is already in operation in several of APMT’s facilities, including in Vado Ligure (Italy), Lazaro Cardenas (Mexico) and its latest automated terminal in Tangier, Morocco.

The company is also running a pilot with ZPMC’s Automated Straddle Carriers in its Aarhus (Denmark).

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