Dry CargoGreater ChinaPorts and Logistics

APM Terminals diversifies into grain handling with new JV in China

APM Terminals plans to handle grain rather than containerised cargo at the newly developed Qingdao Port Dongjiakou Multi-Purpose Terminal in China, in which APM Terminals will hold a 20% share.

The terminal is located in the new Dongjiakou port area of the Port of Qingdao in Shandong province, on the Yellow Sea. The port itself is one of the world’s busiest and is ranked seventh globally by cargo volume, handling 468m tonnes in total during 2014. China aims for Dongjiakou Port area to become a national hub of Chinese bulk and energy cargoes, with projected volumes of 300m tpa.

Qingdao Port Dongjiakou Multi-Purpose Terminal will be jointly operated by Qingdao Port International and APM Terminals, and will handle grain and other general cargo. Qingdao port handled around 7m tonnes of grain cargo in 2014. The site will also help improve logistics connections from the port to markets in the hinterland, APM Terminals said.

“China, as the world’s largest population, and second–largest economy, is a crucial center of global trade and logistics, and we are very pleased to advance our multi-port strategy of growth beyond containers in this exciting and fast-growing market,” said Kim Fejfer, CEO fof APM Terminals, which already operates grain handling facilities in Callao in Peru and Poti, Georgia.

Approximately one-third of all nations are now importing at least a quarter of their grain consumption, APM Terminal stated.

For China, however, the picture is more complex. In February, the US Department of Agriculture slashed its long-term forecast of China’s grain imports from 22m tpa to 6.5m tpa for the years 2023/24. China has found itself with a huge corn stockpile after record crops in 2012 and 2013, and declining domestic consumption. However, the country is still the world’s largest importer of soybeans.

“Worldwide seaborne grain shipments have increased to over 400m tonnes annually according to the World Grain Council, requiring a specialised infrastructure and expertise to keep up with this demand, while helping to improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world,” said Francois Delenclos, vice-president of business development for APM Terminals, who helped negotiate the Dongjiakou terminal deal.

“This is a high-growth market where APM Terminals can invest and deploy its operational expertise in key locations.”

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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