Nigeria: Apapa Container Terminal in Growth Mode

Individual crane productivity has increased by 25% in the past 12 months at the Apapa Container Terminal, with overall berth productivity rising by 50% during the same period even as port container volumes have surged by 26%. With the recent completion of dredging of all 4 berths to 13.5 meters, APM Terminals Apapa is now the deepest draft container terminal in Nigeria and one of the deepest in West Africa – enabling 4500 TEU capacity vessels to call at maximum draft when dredging of the port access channel is completed later this year.

APM Terminals has invested $190 million USD in expansion and improvements to the facility, the largest container terminal in West Africa, since assuming control of the concession in 2006. Plans call for an additional $80 million USD to be spent as modernization and upgrading continues leading to the expansion of operating capacity by another 50% by the end of 2012. On July llch five new Rubber-Tire Gantry Cranes (RTGs) were delivered, bringing the facility total to 12. The new RTGs will begin operations by the end of August. Current annual container throughput capacity is 750,000 TEUs.

“These aggressive investments demonstrate our commitment to Nigeria, and will position APM Terminals Apapa as a world class facility located in the heart of West Africa’s largest and most vibrant economy” stated Managing Director Dallas Hampton, adding “the terminal’s business strategy has a strong focus on landside customer service and truck turnaround service times are now consistently at 45 minutes and getting shorter”.

APM Terminals Apapa has introduced a new container scanning procedure in partnership with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and Swiss-based inspection service provider Cotecna Destination Inspection Ltd. (CDIL) at Apapa Container Terminal on July 14th, increasing scanning throughput by 62% in the program’s first week, and speeding container deliveries to customers.

Now averaging 126 scanned containers per day, congestion in the scanning area, which had previously resulted in delays of up to four days incurring hundreds of dollars in additional trucking fees, has been eliminated. As many as 200 trucks hauling containers would be awaiting their turns in the scanning line before the new initiative was introduced.

APM Terminals Apapa Process Manager William Ross has established the target of 200 containers daily to complete the scanning procedure, stating “This will help reduce the congestion that is associated with current clearance and scanning processes, improve productivity at our terminal and by reducing the cost burden on importers help boost trade.”

The average number of scanned containers previously had been just under 80 per day. Delays of up to two days for delivery following scanning caused importers to be subjected to further truck detention charges of as much as $350 USD per day.

APM Terminals Apapa handled 485,000 TEUs in 2010. Annual container volume has more than doubled since APM Terminals was awarded the 25-year terminal concession in 2006. There are now five Mobile Harbor Cranes (MHCs) in operation at the terminal with a sixth scheduled for delivery next month, followed by another three in January 2012. The facility now averages 10 vessel calls per week.

Other improvements include the refurbishment and redirection of the existing rail line serving the port, construction of a new semi-automated 8-lane inbound/9-land outbound gate system, the construction of a new on-site Customs Office and Inspection building, and 350 new reefer container plug racks along with new trucks.

It is our aim to be the easiest terminal operator to do business with in Nigeria” said Mr. Hampton.

About APM Terminals

– providing the port and inland infrastructure to drive global commerce

APM Terminals is taking a leading role in addressing the critical issues facing the transportation industry. With customers and business partners, the company has designed the world’s most comprehensive port and inland network to meet the shipping community’s needs today, tomorrow and in the future. With more than 60 ports and 132 inland facilities in 63 countries – the goal is to offer the market more solutions than ever before to help companies and countries achieve their ambitions.

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Source: apmterminals, July 26, 2011;

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