Hutchison Ports have received the green light from the Dutch authorities to acquire container terminal AP Moeller owned APM Terminals Rotterdam.
The Netherlands Authority for Consumer and Markets (ACM) has cleared Hutchison Ports Netherlands, the parent company of container terminal operator Europe Container Terminals (ECT), to acquire container terminal APMT Rotterdam.
ACM explained that it does not anticipate this move having any significant effects on competition. "After the acquisition, sufficient competition will remain in this sector between the three active terminal-services companies in the Port of Rotterdam," said Martijn Snoep, chairman of the Board of ACM.
As a result of the acquisition, ECT will own the ECT Delta terminal, ECT Euromax terminal and APM Terminals Rotterdam in the major Dutch port. At the same time, APM Terminals and Rotterdam World Gateway remain active players, as each operator owns one container terminal on Maasvlakte 2.
In its investigation, ACM said it primarily looked at the competition between terminal services for containers that are directly shipped to destinations elsewhere in Europe. Many containers are shipped from the Port of Rotterdam to destinations in, for example, Belgium, Germany, and France, either by trucks, trains, or barges, according to the Dutch authorities.
ACM’s investigation reveals that the market share of the group to which ECT belongs will increase only slightly as a result of the acquisition. This is the reason this move "will only lead to a small change in the competitive landscape," according to Snoep.
ACM noted that maritime shipping companies are positive about the current developments and expect the APMT Rotterdam acquisition to result in additional capacity, while the terminal-services companies also expect the competition to be intensified.