Maersk May Invest in Railways, Trucks

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S’s container-terminal arm may invest in rail, truck or barge operators in China and India as Asian trade growth outpaces demand in the U.S. and Europe.

The company is considering acquisitions that will allow it to haul goods to ports, APM Terminals Chief Executive Officer Kim Fejfer told reporters in Singapore today. He declined to elaborate further on possible targets.

APM Terminals also plans to invest in Yangtze River ports as economic growth in rural China spurs cargo traffic along the nation’s longest river. Sea-cargo traffic in China, Vietnam, India and other emerging markets may grow 7 percent annually until 2015 compared with a 2 percent expansion in more mature economies, Fejfer said.

“China, Vietnam and India are the markets that we would like to increase our foothold in,” said Martin Christiansen, APM Terminals’ Asia-Pacific head. The company is looking at “a number of interesting projects” along the Yangtze, he said.

Global container-port traffic will likely rise about 5 percent a year for the next five years, according to the terminal operator. Maersk also runs the world’s largest container-shipping line.

The company, which operates more than 50 terminals in 34 countries, increased the number of containers it handled in the first nine months of this year by 3 percent to 23.5 million 20- foot boxes. It is also currently developing seven new projects.

Separately, APM Terminals’ Pipavav, India unit agreed to lease almost 100 acres of land to Aegis Logistics Ltd. Aegis will build a $90 million oil terminal at the facility, about 150 miles north of Mumbai, the companies said in a statement.

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