Exactly 15 years after landing in Southern Italy’s main container hub, APM Terminals has now decided to sell its 33% stake in the Medcenter Container Terminal based in Gioia Tauro. The company from now will be jointly owned by Contship Italia (Eurogate Group) and Gitaurco Ltd (Msc Group). Terms of sale and price were not officially disclosed.
“The sale of our 33% share in Medcenter is based on a business decision to divest a non-core asset so we can focus on our core business” Tom Boyd, APM Terminals external communications director, explains to Splash. “Currently we are building Italy’s port of the future called APM Terminals Vado, a deepwater port in Savona (Northern Italy) that will serve supply chains for markets in Italy, Southern France, Switzerland and Bavaria (Germany)” adds Carlo Merli, Ceo of APM Terminals Vado.
APM Terminals Vado will open in January 2018 with 800,000 teu annual capacity and a 17 meter depth to serve the last generation of container vessels. Few weeks ago APM also took over Reefer Terminal from GF Group, a port infrastructure located adjacent to the construction site of the Vado new terminal project.
Maersk Group strategy for ports in Italy (and in the Mediterranean more generally) relies heavily on regional gateway terminals able to serve by road and rail transport a wide market region in Central Europe. On the contrary transhipment hubs are considered not strategic and unprofitable mainly due to the competition of North African ports based on low labour costs.
Apart from the footprint in Savona currently under construction, furthermore APM Terminals is interested at investing in a gateway terminal located in the North of the Adriatic sea, be that in Italy (Trieste) or Slovenia (Koper), fit for serving the Central and Eastern European markets.