ABB and Kuenz land automatic stacking cranes contract for APM Terminals Maasvlakte II expansion


ABB and crane builder Kuenz, headquartered in Austria, have secured the largest single order of Automatic Stacking Cranes (ASC) ever made by a European terminal, as part of the groundbreaking ‘phase 2’ expansion (render pictured) of APM Terminals Maasvlakte II (APMT MVII) facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The companies will deliver 62 ASC and one Intermodal Yard Crane equipped with the latest electrical and automation technology enabling the terminal to double container capacity at APMT MVII. The financial details of the order were not disclosed.

Formalised this week at a signing ceremony in Rotterdam, involving APMT MVII, Kuenz and ABB, the contract gives testament to the continued trust in ABB to deliver yard crane automation for APMT MVII, following the success of the first phase which dates to 2012.

For the expansion, APMT MVII is building on the achievements of the existing facility which deploys the highest level of yard crane automation, with fully automated stacks, automated guided vehicle (AGV) transfer zone as well as fully automatic handling of external trucks.

“This is an important step in the expansion for APMT MVII. ABB and Kuenz once again proved to be the best solutions for the handling of our containers,” said Hans Jongejan, Project Director MVII-Expansion. “The combination between the reliable automatic handling provided by ABB and Kuenz’s aerodynamic cranes makes this a sustainable choice. This allows us to not only become the most modern gateway to Europe but also the most efficient and sustainable. We look forward to another successful cooperation.”

The high level of automation with the separation of personnel and handling operations delivers safety as well as efficiency gains. Experience from the current facility also underlines how automation enables smoother and ‘machine-friendly’ operations with less risk of damage to equipment, demonstrated in record-low maintenance hours for the terminal.

“Working with ABB as our systems partner for the expansion of APMT MVII continues a success story that started more than 10 years ago in the same location,” said David Moosbrugger, Managing Director, Kuenz. “We are both delighted and proud that APM Terminals has chosen to work with our two companies once more as their partners in the MVII expansion project.”

The scope of delivery from ABB includes control and information systems, automation sensors and software, and remote-control capability to optimise the crane efficiency for remote crane management. Continuous development and solid revision management make it possible for APMT MVII to run both the existing facility and the expansion as a unified efficient facility at a high automation and performance level.

“We are proud of the trust APMT MVII has, once again, placed in our crane automation and control systems, and we are excited to contribute to shaping the future of one of the leading container terminal operators in the world,” said Clara Holmgren, Business Line Manager Ports, ABB Marine & Ports. “The precision, reliability and 24/7 availability continue to make a compelling case for our automation solutions, especially where high productivity and performance are essential.”

Ranged along 1,000 metres of new quay, the APMT MVII expansion will significantly increase the capacity of APMT MVII during 2027, strengthening APMT MVII’s position among Europe’s leading container terminals. Yard operations will be highly sustainable as well as automated, with each all-electric crane optimized for 1 over 6-high stacking to make most efficient use of land.