VDL secures a mega order: 80 automated guided vehicles for Singapore
The type of automated guided vehicle that VDL Automated Vehicles has supplied to PSA.

VDL secures a mega order: 80 automated guided vehicles for Singapore

27 March 2019

VDL Groep consolidates its market position for automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Until 2023, VDL Automated Vehicles will supply no fewer than 80 electric and autonomous vehicles to port operator PSA. From 2021, these vehicles will be used for container terminal logistics at PSA Singapore’s Port. The order involves tens of millions of euros.

PSA’s order accounts for around 100,000 hours of work and creates additional jobs in the Dutch province of Brabant and in Singapore. In the Netherlands, VDL chiefly needs engineers and software programmers for this purpose, while in Singapore, where part of the final assembly of the AGVs will take place, VDL will expand its local service organisation. The AGVs will transport containers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


VDL Automated Vehicles is a partnership between several VDL companies, put into practice at VDL Steelweld in Breda. VDL Containersystemen in Hapert, whose products include spreaders for ports, supplies the modules. In 2015, VDL already delivered two AGV prototypes to PSA in Singapore. ‘Because these two vehicles operate to the full satisfaction of our customer, this has laid the basis for our superb order,’ says manager Karel Smits of VDL Automated Vehicles. ‘This award puts us even more firmly on the map as a developer of transport solutions for self-propelled vehicles.’

Director Frans van Dommelen of VDL Containersystemen: ‘This order is the ideal showcase for our role in port areas, because we also use these electric vehicles to reduce emissions from logistics movements in the port.’

Market leader

Reducing emissions fits in seamlessly with VDL Groep’s strategy. This industrial family business from Eindhoven is the European market leader in the electrification of heavy-duty mobility, such as buses, e-trucks and AGVs. Besides electrification and autonomous driving, VDL has also made plans and taken steps for connectivity and mobility as a service. With the order for 80 AGVs, it is also taking a major step outside Europe and continuing to work on the internationalisation of its commercial activities.

VDL Automated Vehicles has supplied large numbers of AGVs to customers, including ECT in Rotterdam and the German industrial group BASF in Ludwigshafen. VDL is the world’s technological leader for these latter automated guided vehicles: at BASF, the vehicles drive unmanned between other traffic on an industrial estate.

Expansion plans

Port operator PSA has major expansion plans in Singapore. It’s upcoming terminals at Tuas Port will have an annual capacity of 65 million containers, making it the largest port in the world by the time it is complete in 2040. The first berth will be operational in 2021.

Technical specifications of VDL-AGVs for PSA:

  • Maximum lifting weight: 65 tonnes (comparable to 8 lightweight city buses, excluding passengers)
  • Length: 15 meters, height: 2 metres
  • Maximum speed: 25 km/h
  • 100% electric
  • Self-driving (computer-controlled)