New container terminal opens in northern Italy
The new container terminal, launched today in Vado Ligure and operated by APM Terminals, sets a new standard for port infrastructure in Italy. The facility is unique in terms of services and technology, from the “automated yard” to the “appointment system” for trucks.
Vado Gateway, the new container terminal within APM Terminals portfolio opened today with a ceremony attended by all the employees and several national and local authorities. The most important port infrastructure development in Italy in the last decades, Vado Gateway is the result of a total investment amounting to about 450 million euros, 180 of which invested by APM Terminals and further 43 million coming from project financing.
The terminal was commissioned by Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Mar Ligure Occidentale (Western Ligurian Sea System Port Authority), which will now entrust APM Terminals with the management of the facility for the next 50 years.
Vado Gateway is expected to significantly increase the competitiveness of the Ligurian and Italian port infrastructure, making it a true hub for cargo moving to the northern part of the country, as well as 2/3 Classification: Public markets north of Italy, such as Switzerland, Germany or north-east France. It is therefore referred to as one of the maritime terminals of the “New Silk Road”.
The new terminal has already secured two important services operated by A.P. Moller-Maersk. Starting in February 2020, vessels on Maersk’s ME2 service, connecting the Mediterranean to the Middle East and India, and MMX service, connecting the Mediterranean to North America, will call Vado Gateway.
In addition to the newly opened facility, APM Terminals Vado Ligure Spa also runs the adjacent Reefer Terminal of Vado Ligure, which is the biggest logistic hub dedicated to fruit in the Mediterranean. Once fully operating, Vado Gateway capacity will amount to circa 900 000 TEUs per year, which, together with the 250 000 TEUs of the Reefer Terminal, will allow the Port of Vado to handle over one million TEUs every year.
Vado Gateway is a semi-automated terminal, which significantly increases the competitiveness of the Ligurian and Italian port infrastructure. It will initially operate on a 450-metre part of the quay, but from July 2020 its whole 700-metre extension will be available for use. With a depth at quay level of 17.25 metres and height of 4.5 metres above sea level, Vado Gateway will be able to accommodate and operate the latest generation Ultra large container ships (ULCS) without any limitations.
Vado Gateway is also equipped with various latest technologies, most notably its stateof-the-art cranes. The yard used for container storage and handling is the first in Italy to be completely automated. Automatic Rail Mounted Gantry (ARMG) cranes will work autonomously under the remote supervision of highly specialised operators. This will allow highest safety standards, as no personnel will be present in this area while containers are being moved. Access to the yard will only be allowed for maintenance work when the cranes are not operating. The containers unloaded at Vado Gateway will be immediately recorded with a dynamic video camera set on the ship-to-shore (STS) cranes with an operator on board, sending information to the Terminal Operating System (TOS).
The system, highly advanced and fully integrated with all other equipment, allows real time tracking of each container. Container handling from the quay to internal exchange areas, and from there to the yard and exchange areas for road transport (exchange grid), will be carried out by straddle carriers - hybrid-powered equipment with an operator on board, receiving instructions directly from the TOS. Vado Gateway will be equipped with one of the most technologically advanced systems in Italy for the access of trucks. 14 highly automated reversible lanes provide access to the terminal, facilitating flow management by means of the Truck appointment system.
Truck drivers arriving at the access gate will have previously booked their appointment and received relevant confirmation via a web interface connected to the information systems. Upon arrival at the port, they will proceed through an optical reader, which will identify the driver by the vehicle number plate and container number.
Another important feature is the intermodal connection potential. APM Terminals’ target is to move 40% of containers arriving to or departing from Vado Gateway by rail, taking advantage of the rail infrastructures which are under development in Vado. At the beginning, there will be 4-5 trains 3/3 Classification: Public connecting Vado with several intermodal hubs in the North and East of the country, including Milano and Padova, but the number is bound to constantly increase over time.
ABOUT APM TERMINALS
The holding of Co. of APM Terminals Vado Ligure Spa, the Italian Company managing Vado Gateway is a joint venture between APM Terminals, with a share of 50.1%, together with two Chinese Partners: Cosco Shipping Ports, (40% share) and Qingdao Port International (9.9% share). APM Terminals operates one of the world’s most comprehensive port and integrated inland service networks.