With the Gemini Cooperation, Maersk is working to deliver a best-in-class ocean network with industry-leading reliability, reach, and speed from February 2025. Key to achieving this ambition are the port terminals that will serve as hubs to connect the network’s 58 services and more than 6,000 port-to-port combinations.

The key hubs have been carefully chosen for their high levels of dependability and productivity, which will ensure smooth and seamless connections between services. These hubs will also allow for transportation routes to be optimised and for goods to reach distant destinations as efficiently as possible.

So, how will these hubs work? And how will they contribute to the goal of 90%+ schedule reliability, competitive transit times, and far-reaching global coverage?

The role of the hubs

When executed well, transshipments can help increase the reliability, efficiency, and flexibility of a business’ supply chain. Achieving near perfect transshipments requires several elements, including that transshipments hubs are in the right place. This allows them to facilitate cargo flows without inefficient sailing deviations. They should also have the right capabilities (as outlined below) and be well connected as part of a wider transportation network.

As part of boosting reliability and better protecting the network from disruption, the mainline services will operate alongside dedicated shuttle services operated by Maersk. In addition, the network will primarily centre around hubs that are owned and controlled by either Maersk or our partner Hapag-Lloyd. This means that the management of the hubs can be integrated into the management of the network, ensuring alignment.

The hubs will ensure smooth and seamless connections between our services. Centering our network around hubs owned and controlled by Maersk or our partner means we will have more control over the operational management of the hubs. It also means we can invest in world-class systems and processes to ensure they perform to the highest level and deliver the reliability and speed necessary for our new network.

Kenni Skotte
Head of Ocean Network Product, Maersk

The hubs will also offer customers easier access to Maersk’s wider range of transportation modes and logistical services such as warehousing and distribution and customs.

People at work, on the phone, meetings, customers

Hubs with world-class capabilities

APM Terminals is an owner of eight of the selected hubs for the new network. These are Rotterdam Maasvlakte II in the Netherlands, North Sea Terminal Bremerhaven in Germany, APM Terminals Algeciras in Spain, APM Terminals Tangier and MedPort Tangier in Morocco, SCCT in Port Said in Egypt, Port of Salalah in Oman, and Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia.

In the last two years, APM Terminals has invested in its terminals globally, and succeeded in cutting average vessel stay times by 15-20%. It is continuing to make improvements to achieve further reductions.

APM Terminals is pleased to serve the Gemini Cooperation with a substantial part of our terminal portfolio. We excel in high productivity and reliability. This has earned us a position at the forefront of our industry and instills confidence in our ability to support Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd in delivering on their ambitions.

Lars Mikael Jensen
Head of Hubs and Collaboration, APM Terminals

The APM Terminals facilities that will serve as hubs for the Gemini Cooperation’s new network have demonstrated world-leading operational performance in Drewry’s annual review of terminal operators. To meet the needs of the new network, APM Terminals is increasing the hubs’ capacity by 30%. Once expanded, the hubs will cover 19 kilometres of berth and have more than 200 cranes. Strategic investments have already been made, and will continue to be made, that will further elevate the terminals’ capabilities.

Leveraging advanced technology

Advanced technology - such as the Internet of Thing (IoT), digital twins, and artificial intelligence (AI) - helps ensure continuous improvement of hub’s reliability and efficiency.

APM Terminals’ digital assets improve visibility and safety and help optimise the hubs’ operations. These are connected to the hubs’ physical assets by a modern and standardised IT infrastructure.

APM Terminals has installed IoT sensors and devices on over 2,500 pieces of its equipment in recent years. This allows for its physical assets’ performance to be visualised and monitored in real time. Any operational exceptions can be detected as they occur and standardised tools and processes used to respond quickly, preventing any significant disruptions and boosting reliability and productivity.

Four of the APM Terminals hubs to be used by Gemini Cooperation already use digital twins: Tangier, Salalah, Algeciras, and SCCT. The technology is being rolled out to all other Gemini Hubs in time for the network’s implementation. A digital twin is essentially a digital representation of an asset, which can be an object, process, or system. It uses real-time data, historical data, and machine learning to mirror the real-world version’s functionality and status and predict future states.

Digital twins have huge potential to help design, visualise, monitor, optimise, and maintain the terminals more effectively. They allow for the hubs to be stress tested in a safe, virtual environment, so that plans and investments can be made to avoid real world disruptions. With digital twins, vulnerabilities can be identified and resolved before they impact businesses’ cargo.

APM Terminals also uses AI-powered digital tools for berth planning and yard optimisation. This means it can improve service delivery reliability by testing different processes and layouts, choosing the most effective one.

A holistic approach to deliver on reliability, speed, and reach

The hubs are a critical component of the network of the future. They will work together with the network design, cooperation agreement, fleet, processes, and technologies to deliver on industry-leading reliability, reach, and speed. All of these aspects are undergoing careful testing and finetuning to be ready for the February 2025 implementation.

Between then and now, we will continue to share insights into the network and how it will achieve its goals. To stay up to date with the latest information, visit our dedicated network of the future page.

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