Hartmut Goeritz, CEO & Terminal Manager at APM Terminals in Tangier (Morocco), heads up one of the most dynamic and fast-growing ports in the world. His years of experience in the shipping industry and his knowledge are true personal values that influence his challenging and exciting role.
How competitive is Tanger Med compared to the ports of Algeciras, Cadiz or Valencia?
Capitalizing on the proximity of APM Terminals Tangier to Algeciras, a partnership with both terminals (Tangier and Algeciras) and Maersk line was established in 2013. This project aims to align the priorities of the three entities in order to increase operational stability and improve operational efficiency. Thus, involving the teams into one "hub partnership" philosophy improves the handling of exceptional situations by anticipating volume variation and collaborating between terminals and shipping line. Time and cost reduction led by this partnership provided better return for all stakeholders, and of course the final customer. In 2014, the partnership contributed to increase by 19% the weekly volume in APM Terminals Tangier, comparing to 2013.
What are the key values of your organization?
APM Terminals Tangier is keen to ensure a safe operational excellence. Our continuous improvement policy supports us to deliver. Since the beginning, APM Terminals Tangier implemented a process of compliance with best international standards, in order to become a world class facility. In 2012, we succeeded in obtaining three ISO certifications delivered by Bureau Veritas; ISO 9001 for quality, ISO14001 for environment and, OHSAS 18001 for health and safety. In 2013 we obtained ISO 28000 for security management systems for the supply chain, and more recently ISO 27001 for the information security. We are the first Moroccan company to obtain such certifications. PEX, or Process Excellence, is a culture within our organization, thus, our employees are continuously running projects that have a significant effect on cost reduction, and performance improvement, decreasing environmental impact…
How sustainable is Tanger Med's growth over the medium and long term?
The strategic position of Tanger Med port enables a fast connectivity to Africa, North Europe, Middle East, Far East and the Americas. The port is meant to be a strong tool for importations/exportations, and to receive the biggest vessels in the world. The port is strongly contributing in the development of all the northern area of Morocco. The two facilities in Tanger Med have already reached their nominal capacity, and thanks to our ongoing efforts and Pex Projects we aim to increase the capacity and drain continuously more volume.
Where do you foresee the main challenges for APM Terminals over the next 12 months?
For APM Terminals Tangier, safety is a priority and an everyday challenge. We need our people, but also our stakeholders to stay safe and be able to return home with no injury. We also work hard to maintain the sustainable level of productivity, and predict the volumes.
What is the main advantage of being based in North Africa?
Tanger Med is strategically located within the Straits of Gibraltar, at the cross roads of major trades lanes, East – West & North – South, with no deviation. This position allows us to provide customers with World Class services i.e. seamless link of networks & cargoes with high productivity. In addition to this, being located in the north of Africa allows us to benefit from Morocco's attractive features: stable macroeconomic and political situation, a valued destination for investors because of the incentives system and security of investments. The workforce is very competitive and skilled as well. We believe we can be part of Morocco’s development and sustain global development ambitions.
How do you start your ordinary day?
I usually start my day preparing the baby bottle for my little daughter. It is important also to create a distance between home and work i. e. drive a long way towards the terminal as done in Tangier or now cycle (weather permitting) to our offices. This ‘distance’ between home and work allows me to balance work and family life and, in the morning, to build up the professional topics and plans for the day, whilst in the evening I can digest things and arrive ‘work stress’-free for the family life!
What has been the most exciting period of your career?
The most exciting is my career path itself, which brought me in 32 years to live in 18 countries, discovering a multitude of different cultural environments and allowing me to grow individually and, as business leader, to collect my learnings with the appointment as senior leader to our company head-offices.
Your favourite book…
It is not a ‘one size fit’ all answer. Big and long books are not for me. I prefer short-tracked stories and have a passion for Africa, having lived there for about 23 years. African fairytales are a great inspiration….
Your favourite ship...
Professionally spoken it is the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, both from the name/history and industry development angle and what it stands for within the Mærsk Group, but as well from having had the opportunity to visit her in our terminal in Tanger Med. Incredible impressions of dimensions and leaving the open question - how can these mega vessels still float at all?
On a personal and more nostalgic level, it is the Port of Hamburg ferry boats crossing river Elbe from Landungsbrücken. You get such a nice view on the city, such an intimate proximity to operating port terminals and so close to big ocean vessels, that it is a lifetime experience!
Editor, Gibraltar Shipping
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