APM Terminals’ Moín Container Terminal (MCT) has secured an approval from Costa Rica’s National Council of Concessions (CNC) to begin commercial operations of its first deep-sea berth.

Subject to fulfilment of all safety and service requirements, the approval is set to help the relocation of all commercial container ships currently being served by Puerto Limón and Puerto Moín to MCT.

The relocation is scheduled to take place once APM Terminals completes the development of the first phase of MCT.

The first phase is due to be completed in February with two berths and a 40ha artificial island.

APM Terminals Moín managing director Kenneth Waugh said: “The authorisation from CNC to start receiving commercial vessels represents a significant step change in maritime cargo handling logistics in Costa Rica and a huge leap towards improving national competitiveness.”

“The authorisation from CNC to start receiving commercial vessels represents a significant step change in maritime cargo handling logistics.”

The company has already installed equipment on the MCT facility and has started providing training to the terminal’s staff with test ships to ensure safe and efficient operations.

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Last week, MCT received its first vessel, named Polar México operated by Hamburg Süd, which was on its way to a destination in Northern Europe.

The 3,947 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) containership arrived from Panama with bananas, pineapples and materials on-board.

Waugh further added: “Thanks to the Moín Container Terminal, we will no longer be a port for small boats that require merchandise to be transferred to reach their final destination, but a port that is able to receive today’s largest container ships with direct connections and reliable intermodal links to key markets.”

As per the latest data from World Economic Forum, Costa Rica is ranked 109 out of 140 countries in the global port infrastructure index.