Maersk’s container terminal operating arm, APM terminals (APMT), has opened its long-awaited Vado Gateway facility in Italy, capable of handling the largest box ships.

The facility boasts automated yard operations and, in the first phase, a 450-metre quay with a depth alongside of 17.25 metres. In July next year, the quay will be 700 metres.

In addition to the new box facility, APMT Vado Ligure also runs the adjacent Reefer Terminal of Vado Ligure, which is the biggest logistics hub dedicated to fruit in the Mediterranean.

Once it’s fully operating, Vado Gateway capacity will be around 900,000 teu a year, which, together with 250 000 teu annual capacity in the dedicated reefer terminal, will allow the port to handle over 1m teu a year.

The facility launches operations with two new shipping services from parent company Maersk in February, the ME2, connecting the Mediterranean to the Middle East and India, and the MMX, connecting the Mediterranean to North America.

Paolo Cornetto, MD of APMT Vado Ligure, said: “We are now ready to operate our new terminal. Thanks to great collaboration with all our partners and authorities, we have been able to overcome challenges and can now focus on offering our customers excellent service.”

Morten Engelstoft, APMT chief executive, added: “Strengthening our presence in Vado Ligure reaffirms our commitment to the region and the role it plays on the European logistics map. Vado Gateway is an important part of AP Møller-Maersk’s overall ambition and strategy to become an integrated container logistics company.”

Located in the northern Ligurian region of Italy, the facility will also look to maximise intermodal links into the central European hinterland and will begin operating between four and five trains to intermodal hubs including Milan and Padova.

The facility is 50.1% owned by APMT, with Cosco Shipping Ports holding 40% and Qingdao Port International the remaining 9.9% as part of China’s European Belt and Road investment programme.

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