Liner shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd has reportedly expanded its portfolio in the terminal sector with the SM SAAM terminal business acquisition, as investing in terminal infrastructure is a key element of Hapag-Lloyd’s strategic agenda, and Latin America is one of its key markets.

The company has acquired 100% of SM SAAM’s terminal business and related logistics services, whilst the new entity will be led by its CEO, Mauricio Carrasco, who has been managing director for the terminals division within the SAAM Group since 2020. Rodolfo Díaz, former senior director business administration region Latin America at Hapag-Lloyd, will join him as CFO.

The transaction includes interests in terminals in Iquique, Antofagasta, San Antonio, San Vicente and Corral (Chile), Port Everglades (United States / Florida), Mazatlán (Mexico), Buenavista (Colombia), Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Caldera (Costa Rica) as well as related logistics services.

The shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd has continuously expanded its involvement in the terminal sector and holds stakes in the Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven, the Container Terminal Altenwerder in Hamburg, the Italy-based Spinelli Group, the India-based J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Limited, Terminal TC3 in Tangier, and Terminal 2 in Damietta, Egypt, which is currently under construction.

The transaction was approved unconditionally by the relevant antitrust authorities of all countries involved in this acquisition process.

Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd said “the successful completion of this transaction significantly increases our footprint in Latin America and underlines our commitment to the Latin American markets. Looking ahead, we will focus on further developing the business and on continuing to offer the best quality to all of SAAM Terminals’ customers.”

The number of companies seeking to invest in the global ports market has increased in recent years.

According to Drewry’s author of the Global Container Terminal Operators annual review and forecast report, Eleanor Hadland, and Drewry’s senior analyst for ports and terminals, “increased M&A and privatisation activity will see the number of global terminal operators increase. Hapag Lloyd, ONE, Adani and Abu Dhabi Ports Group are all set to feature in next year’s league tables.”