The global terminal operator will upgrade its Port Elizabeth terminal at the North Atlantic port with the addition of a new berth and container yard capable of handling 13,000-TEU vessels.
APM Terminals (APMT) announced Wednesday it will invest $70 million to expand and modernize its Port Elizabeth terminal at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
The upgrades will include the addition of a new berth and container yard capable of handling 13,000-TEU vessels and will increase annual capacity at the facility to 2.3 million TEUs, compared to 1.5 million TEUs today.
The infrastructure upgrades are intended to right-size the Port Elizabeth facility with the new class of mega-container ships being deployed by ocean carriers in an effort to achieve maximum economies of scale. New York/New Jersey is one of three or four major load centers on the East Coast where big ships are routinely expected to call now that the Panama Canal has been expanded and 14,000-TEU vessels can now transit between the Far East and the U.S. East Coast. Large ships also use the wider Suez Canal to reach the United States. Ports and their private sector partners are heavily investing in harbor deepening, berths, on-dock rail, container storage, extra truck gates and technology to make sure they can meet the demand for increased cargo capacity as well as the volume peaks associated with big ships compared to handling several smaller ships.
The Port Authority of New York/New Jersey is investing billions of dollars for dredging, raising the Bayonne Bridge and other upgrades.
“As one of the original container terminal operators at our port, we welcome APM Terminals continued investment in order to ensure that we remain a key gateway for the next generation of cargo ships,” Molly Campbell, director of the port department for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a statement. “Modernizing our port infrastructure is critical to our regional economy’s continued competitiveness.”
APMT is the terminal arm of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, which also owns the giant Maersk shipping line.
The company said it will issue a tender this fall for construction of the new berth.