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APM Terminals challenges barriers to port electrification

Posted on October 23, 2023

When it comes to pushing for change, and standing up for what is right, APM Terminals is forthright in taking the lead. That is why our commitment to net zero is the most progressive in the industry: to get to net zero by 2040.

Our path to net zero lies in the electrification of our terminal assets, in reducing energy use, and decarbonising our grid by using renewable energy.

First terminal in Middle East to move to electric terminal equipment

As part of our electrification roll out, and as is becoming increasingly common at APM Terminals, colleagues this week welcomed the arrival of new electric terminal equipment. Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) in Jordan received its first batch of electric Reach Stackers and Empty Handlers, meaning that ACT is the first terminal in the Middle East to embrace the shift to electrified terminal equipment. Electric terminal tractors are due to be delivered to Egypt next year, and to Barcelona, building on the progress begun in many APM Terminals locations.

This year alone, the company has put six additional electric terminal tractors into operation at Maasvlakte II in Rotterdam, taking the terminal to full decarbonisation. Added to this, USD 60 million has been invested in five currently running electrification pilots.

As the new assets rolled in to ACT this week, our Senior Program Manager Infrastructure and Innovation –  Umut Dogan – from the Decarbonisation team at APM Terminals, was preparing to speak in Lisbon, Portugal at the Greenport Congress, while his colleague Tim Miltenburg, Decarbonization Analytics Manager, presented at the Green Non-Road Mobile Machinery Forum in Amsterdam.

Terminal industry playing catch up

Rather than presenting the strides made in decarbonising APM Terminals, our game-changing electrification pilots, the roll out of electrified machinery, future forward training programmes for colleagues, and the switch out to battery packs, both colleagues used their speaking opportunities to challenge their peers and current thinking. Specifically, they made the point that the terminal industry is playing catch-up to the transformation of the car sector seen 20 years ago.

“As personal cars have already shown, cost and supply prohibitors can only hold progress back so far,” said Dogan in Portugal. “Whether it’s road vehicles, solar panels or any other technological innovation, standardisation, modularisation and demand will lead to exponentially accelerated adoption,” said Miltenburg.

Umut Dogan agrees. “Let’s face facts. If the path to fully electrified terminals was cheaper; if standardisation and modularisation were in place, some of the biggest barriers to net zero terminals would already be removed,” he said, adding: “I believe those barriers are ready to topple down.

“As battery and technology costs come down, reinforced by strong external trends, the shift to electric terminal vehicles, and zero-emission mobility ecosystems, is not a matter of when, but how soon.”

Reinforcing electrification expertise at APM Terminals

An expert in electric, hybrid and fuel-cell vehicle development, dedicated to creating zero emission mobility ecosystems, Umut Dogan had executed electrification projects for cars, trucks, and buses on behalf of global vehicle manufacturers before joining APM Terminals four months ago. His career to date spans 13 years including multinational projects directly related to major suppliers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

He joins Tim Miltenburg, a sustainability and climate change specialist with deep expertise in decarbonisation and corporate sustainability. He has spent the past 8 years helping corporates understand their greenhouse gas footprint, set targets in line with climate science and build decarbonisation roadmaps to deliver on these targets. He has been with APM Terminals for just over a year and leads the analytics & reporting efforts of the Decarbonisation team based in The Hague.


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