Costa Rica's Deep Water Container Terminal Operational

Published Oct 29, 2018 5:48 PM by The Maritime Executive

APM Terminals’ Moín Container Terminal on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast has started commercial operations. 

The deep-water terminal is expected to be fully operational in February 2019 and will enable the transfer of all commercial container ships currently serviced at Puerto Limón and Puerto Moín to the new terminal. This will take place once APM Terminals delivers the dock's first phase, which includes two berths and 40 hectares of artificial island due in February 2019.

The first ship to arrive at the Moín Container Terminal on October 27 was Cap Beatrice, followed next week by Hamburg Süd’s Polar México, with a nominal capacity of 3,947 TEUs, arriving from Panama. 70 percent of the cargo loaded onto the ship will consist of bananas and pineapples destined for Northern Europe. More than 60 percent of the terminal’s capacity will be devoted to refrigerated container handling.

Costa Rica's main exports are electronic components (18 percent), medical equipment (7.3 percent), pineapples (seven percent) and bananas (six percent). The nation is currently the world’s largest exporter of pineapples, and the third largest exporter of bananas. Sugar and coffee are also major exports. 

According to the most recent data from the World Economic Forum, Costa Rica ranks 109 out of 140 countries in the global port infrastructure index. However, projections suggest that once the new terminal starts operations, Costa Rica will become Latin America’s port leader, says APM Terminals.

The number of ships served will be increased gradually until February 2019, when the project will be completed and the TCM will be officially inaugurated.

Tacility’s first three ship-to-shore cranes and six rubber-tire gantry cranes arrived in February this year. The electric-powered ship-to-shore cranes are the first in Costa Rica with a 22-container row reach, enabling direct calls of the larger class of container ships entering Latin American trade lanes. The cranes will be able to accommodate vessels of 8,500 TEU capacity – a first for Costa Rica.