APL, the world's seventh largest container shipping carrier, plans to develop its latest U.S. intermodal container terminal in Joliet, Ill.

The 43 acres of space was acquired from CenterPoint Properties within the CenterPoint Intermodal Center, the largest inland port in the country.

APL's new container yard will be located close to the Union Pacific and BNSF Intermodal Rail Terminals, as well as numerous customer warehouse and distribution centers.

Due for completion by December 2011, the container yard will function as APL's Chicago Global Gateway, serving customers in Chicago and the surrounding areas. It will feature automated gate technology, an equipment maintenance facility as well as reefer servicing capabilities. It will also house APL's regional operations team.

The new terminal will eventually replace APL's container terminal in Chicago, which has been operational since 1985.