APM Terminals opens a new era for Puerto Quetzal
APM Terminals Quetzal is transforming Guatemala’s port sector by offering the highest productivity port operations in the country, the company said in its press release. In less than a year of operations, four new vessel strings have been added to offer the country’s import/export industries more connections to overseas markets. Guatemala City is now served faster by a Pacific port that is only 98 kilometers away compared to Atlantic coast ports which are five hours away. Equally important, Guatemala’s truckers for the first time in years can now make multiple trips every day into and out of the port thanks to APM Terminals Quetzal’s highly efficient, fast trucker turntime procedures which average 30 minutes.
Speaking to government leaders, diplomats, customers and guests at the port inauguration ceremony, APM Terminals Chief Commercial Officer, Henrik Lundgaard Pedersen welcomed the audience and stated, “Every country wants access to a competitive port – and we are proud to design our new container terminal around the country’s growth needs and Guatemalan businesses. APM Terminals Quetzal will play a strategic role in Guatemala’s economic future and competitiveness in world markets. The container terminal you see here is a Guatemalan success story - run by Guatemalans with 170 new jobs created here and hundreds of indirect jobs for the future.”
Trade accounts for 25.9% of Guatemala’s economy and most of Guatemala’s economic development is concentrated along the Pacific coast. As the country’s newest Pacific gateway port, APM Terminals Quetzal is ensuring exports of sugar, fruits and vegetables, coffee, grains, fertilizer, fish, cotton, textiles and tobacco which represent half of Guatemala’s exports are successfully handled to the highest quality standards.
With 16.5 million people, Guatemala has the largest population in Central America. The IMF has projected an annual economic growth rate of 3.2% for 2017 and 3.5% in 2018. Guatemalan ports handled a combined 1.57 million TEUs in 2016, surpassing Costa Rica with 1.34 million TEUs for second place in Central America, after Panama, with its Canalassociated transshipment ports at Colon and Balboa, which handled 6.25 million TEUs in 2016, among the Central American nations.
APM Terminals Quetzal has a capacity of 340,000 TEUs and is a 85%/15% joint venture between APM Terminals and The IFC - World Bank. APM Terminals has invested USD 180 million in the terminal and has plans for an additional USD 145 million to be invested over a 19 year period. As part of the company’s community outreach efforts, APM Terminals Quetzal has plans to cooperate with the Municipality of San José on community projects, representing an investment of USD 500,000 a year in projects that will be evaluated jointly.