APM Terminals Quetzal has announced that it plans to transform Guatemala’s port sector by offering the highest productivity port operations in the country.
The terminal operator arm of Maersk has announced that four new vessel strings now connect the country’s import and export industries to overseas markets.
APM Terminals has so far invested US$ 180 million since deciding to take a dominant stake in the facility and run it as a joint venture with The IFC – World Bank.
It will continually develop the terminal through an investment of US$ 145 million over a 19-year period.
The Pacific port is currently capable of handling 340,000 TEUs.
By being located 98 kilometres away from Guatemala City, the port is better situated for servicing vessels that would normally travel to Atlantic coast ports which are five hours away.
APM Terminals has also focused on ensuring that Guatemala’s truckers can make multiple trips every day into and out of the port at an average time of 30 minutes.
Guatemalan ports handled a combined 1.57 million TEUs in 2016, surpassing Costa Rica with 1.34 million TEUs for second place in Central America, after Panama, with its Canal-associated transshipment ports at Colon and Balboa, which handled 6.25 million TEUs in 2016, among the Central American nations.
Read the APM Terminals technical paper 'Cartagena Container Terminal: A ‘Tailor-made’ Home Terminal' to learn about one of the main port systems in Colombia
Trade accounts for 25.9% of Guatemala’s economy and most of Guatemala’s economic development is concentrated along the Pacific coast.
APM Terminals Quetzal is ensuring exports of sugar, fruits and vegetables, coffee, grains, fertilizer, fish, cotton, textiles and tobacco which represent half of Guatemala’s exports.
With 16.5 million people, Guatemala has the largest population in Central America.
The IMF has projected an annual economic growth rate of 3.2% for 2017 and 3.5% in 2018.
Speaking to government leaders, diplomats, customers and guests at the port inauguration ceremony, APM Terminals Chief Commercial Officer, Henrik Lundgaard Pedersen welcomed the audience and stated: “Every country wants access to a competitive port – and we are proud to design our new container terminal around the country’s growth needs and Guatemalan businesses.
“APM Terminals Quetzal will play a strategic role in Guatemala’s economic future and competitiveness in world markets.
“The container terminal you see here is a Guatemalan success story – run by Guatemalans with 170 new jobs created here and hundreds of indirect jobs for the future.”