Joint venture with Chinese firms; first ships to call late in 2011
NOL Group today announced a joint venture to operate a two-berth container terminal at the Port of Qingdao. The terminal, expected to open in the second half of 2011, will be NOL’s first in mainland China.
“Today we’ve taken a significant step to strengthen our presence in China and participate fully in its unprecedented growth,” said Kenneth Glenn, APL President for North Asia. “Terminal investment is a logical step for us after decades of supporting the nation’s trade on sea and land.”
Container shipping and logistics giant NOL said, together with SITC International Holdings Company Limited, a PRC-based shipping logistics company, it has formed a partnership with Qingdao Qianwan United Container Terminal Co., Ltd. (QQCTU), to operate the Qingdao terminal. NOL’s contribution to the joint venture is approximately US$25.8 million.
NOL said the fast-growing North China market is a strategic focal point for its liner shipping company, APL, and that is why it has invested in Qingdao. Qingdao, on the Yellow Sea coast, is China’s fifth-largest container port and the largest in the North.
According to NOL, its investment will ensure future access to terminal capacity as China’s relentless trade growth accelerates. The joint venture partnership has a 30-year concession at Qingdao.
Singapore-based NOL said, the new terminal will add 1.5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of annual capacity at Qingdao. It will be equipped with efficient handling equipment including seven post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes as well as 16 rail-mounted yard gantry cranes.
The terminal, whose construction has been completed, will primarily serve vessels operated by APL and SITC. APL said the dedicated container terminal will help improve schedule reliability and guarantee high service levels to its customers.
The Qingdao investment is the latest in a long series of engagements by NOL companies in China. APL’s predecessor company began regular vessel service to China in 1867.
APL currently operates marine terminals at Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Kobe and Yokohama, Japan; and in the U.S. in Los Angeles and Oakland, California; Seattle, Washington; and Dutch Harbor, Alaska. NOL also has investments in terminals in Vietnam and Thailand, and in Rotterdam World Gateway, the first container terminal of the Maasvlakte 2 port development in Rotterdam, currently under construction.
Source: NOL Group