Container traffic & profits surge to all-time high
APM Terminals has reported record volumes and profits for the third quarter of the 2013 calendar year.
The Netherlands-based port operator handled 9.3 million TEU during the three-month period, a rise of four percent year-over-year, and saw profits jump from US$155 million to $203 million, representing a return on invested capital (ROIC) of 14.2 percent.
However, despite the result, APM Terminals’ CEO Kim Fejfer is remaining cautious. He warns of challenging times ahead for operators and their customers, who will both incur rising costs as they strive to meet the demands of increasing vessel sizes.
“The cascading of bigger vessels will take place at an even faster place,” says Fejfer.
“Bigger vessels than ever will come into smaller terminals. Port operators must handle fewer but larger calls, and the demands for efficiency, reliability and speed will be even higher.”
“This will lead to cost increases – partly due to lower berth utilization, partly to investments in more equipment and adaptation. The burden of these rising costs will have to be shared between the customers and the port operators.”
Fejfer also added that APM Terminals is on course to reach its yearly profit target of one billion US dollars come 2016.