The call by M/V Maersk Kota marked the start of operations for the new deep-sea Vado Gateway container terminal, which was commissioned in December 2019.
The 6,400 TEU ship was the first of seven ships from Maersk’s weekly ME2 service, connecting the Mediterranean with the Middle East and India.
“With the arrival of the first ship on the quay, Vado Ligure’s new deep-sea container terminal has officially commenced operations,” Paolo Cornetto, CEO of APM Terminals Vado Ligure, commented.
Being the first semi-automated port in Italy with a fully-automated gate and stacking yard, the Vado Gateway is capable of handling the latest ultra large container vessels (ULCVs) and up to 1.1 million TEUs per annum. The facility is fully integrated with the existing Vado Ligure Reefer Terminal.
With a total investment of EUR 450 million (USD 488 million), the facility is said to be one of the most important port infrastructures built in Italy in recent decades. Managed by APM Terminals Vado Ligure, the new container terminal “strengthens the competitiveness” of the Italian port system and represents a strategic hub for the new Silk Road, connecting the markets of Northern Italy, Switzerland, Germany and north-eastern France with the Far East.
APM Terminals, with a share of 50.1%, has invested EUR 180 million in the project, with Chinese partners Cosco Shipping Ports controlling a 40% share and Qingdao Port International a 9.9% share.
Starting in March, Vado Gateway will also be welcoming ships deployed in Maersk’s MMX service connecting the Mediterranean and Canada.