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Blog: APM Terminals – a committed partner to governments and communities – by Jon Goldner, Chief Executive Asia and Middle East

Posted on April 22, 2024

Our office in Singapore is right at the junction of global trade. Every year, about 140,000 vessels call the port heading from Asia to all parts of the world. And of course, we have Tanjung Pelepas located right across the border in Malaysia.

I cannot help but think that the upcoming years will be some of the most exciting for APM Terminals when it comes to investing in and developing new opportunities across the region. This is true from a business and customer perspective, but also because we aspire to help countries make their supply chains more resilient and to provide opportunities for the communities and people where we operate.
I get real energy when I visit the countries where we do business. It is evident that trade patterns are shifting due to supply chain disruptions and geopolitical conditions. And we experience that many industries are rewiring their supply chains to reduce risk and add resilience in their operations. This means we rethink our business too.

When companies and countries look at opportunities to improve trade and resilience throughout Asia and the Middle East, we as a terminal operator want to help them succeed – with smooth, efficient operations and first-class infrastructure around the terminals and ports. And by connecting them to the rest of the world through our network and our close ties to Maersk and our many other shipping-line customers.

Asia in focus

Southeast Asia in particular is among the biggest winners from the structural changes in trade. Consequently, the IMF expects Southeast Asia’s five largest economies—Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand—to be the fastest-growing bloc in the world by trade volumes between 2022 and 2027.

India and Bangladesh are also expected to benefit from this trend. Many of the countries in the region are looking for help to improve their supply chain resilience and carbon footprint. And we want to play an active role to support them on that journey. We already have some great examples of how to do it from our current portfolio – e.g. from our cooperation with India and our terminals in both Mumbai and Pipavav.

Empowering communities

Let me give you a deep dive into some of our learnings from APM Terminals Pipavav. Our research shows us that our port plays a significant role in creating new opportunities for many people. Pipavav has directly improved the financial footing, raised education levels, and contributed to social well-being and empowerment for many people in the area.

From my own point of view, I have loved to witness the transformation in Pipavav, where we have operated since 2009 and have invested in both education, upskilling, new infrastructure, and a sustainable transition.

The port is a well-connected piece in the puzzle to expand connectivity to the country’s northwestern part with rail via the Direct Freight Corridor. Earlier this year, we signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) at Vibrant Gujarat Summit to develop a green hydrogen ecosystem and to continue our efforts to build a 100% green value chain.

Female empowerment

Female empowerment is one of our core focus areas. As part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives actioned by APM Terminals Pipavav, we have trained more than 2500 youths to date, including around 1000 are women, through the Skill and Entrepreneurship Development Institute at Rajula. We have also hired 11 women from the local community, as trainees in various departments, to create a diverse talent pipeline in Pipavav.

Our engagement and results in Pipavav show our commitment to creating sustainable supply chain ecosystems and stewardship to enhance the livelihoods of those associated with our ports. Health and the transition from fossil fuels are closely linked.

Progress towards net-zero emissions

As we work towards our global industry-leading ambition to reach net zero by 2040, as part of the Gujarat Green Gateway project, a 1,000 kWp solar power grid was installed at Port Pipavav in 2022. The port receives its electricity from solar power, which also lights the streets. Solar power, which now supplies up to 10% of the port’s overall energy usage, has helped to cut emissions by almost 1,100 tons per year by lowering the amount of energy used for facility and street lighting by nearly half.

In 2023, a power purchase agreement was signed between APM Terminals Pipavav and Cleanmax for the provision of 2 MW of renewable energy. Honestly, I believe it is a privilege to get to experience the positive impact we can make with a clear roadmap ahead.

Since 2022, we have invested USD 115 million in infrastructure to increase container handling capacity at APM Terminals Mumbai (GTI) by 10% to 2.18 million TEUs. This was aimed at enabling the terminal to accommodate the needs for larger vessel capability and this year. This modernisation opens new opportunities for us in Mumbai.

Opportunities in Vietnam

These are some of our examples of how to develop sustainable and prosperous terminal operations. And we continue our journey. This week, a delegation from the Vietnamese Ministry of Transportation visited our expanding automated terminal in Rotterdam, MVII, which runs on renewable electricity and with electric equipment.

This was another step in our efforts to support and share best practices with our partners in Vietnam – a country that will become increasingly important for global trade and we are humbled by the opportunity to play an active part in that development.

I’m also pleased to share that, at the beginning of the year, Denmark and Bangladesh entered into a Platform agreement to facilitate a concession agreement in Laldia, Bangladesh.

We also signed a memorandum of understanding with the intent to invest also in Vadhaven Port in India – and we are of course looking into how the services that we have developed in APM Terminals can support economic development and local communities and how to be the preferred partner to the governments that we serve. I believe there are multiple attractive opportunities across the region where we as APM Terminals can bring unique value.

We want to develop safe, efficient, and sustainable operations that have a direct positive impact on the community we operate in, building on our unique ties to Maersk. By doing so we can help connect that country and its people to the rest of the world. To me that is exciting and meaningful work.


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