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APM Terminals targets greater efficiency with 10m Euros investment in crane acquisition

APM Terminals’ 175 Lean Practitioners to bring innovation to port business

As part of its effort to effectively boost the level of services rendered to its customers, APM Terminals Apapa Limited, a leading Danish terminal operator, has commissioned its newly acquired three Liebherr 550 Mobile Harbor Cranes, worth 10 million Euros.

The new cranes, which increases the number of the terminal’s mobile harbour crane from eight to 11, were built by the world’s leading crane manufacturing company, Liebherr in Rostock, Germany. Liebherr mobile crane has soft touch function that allows drivers to load containers softly to prevent damage to equipment, vehicles and make the working environment safer for staff.

Speaking at the commissioning in Lagos over the weekend, Andrew Dawes, managing director, APM Terminals Apapa, said “the cranes were acquired to expand the terminal’s fleet and to offer better services to all Nigerian importers as the company’s business expands.

“This means that we can service our vessels as quickly as possible so as to retain vessel waiting time to zero days, compared to pre-concession era where it used to take several days for vessels to discharge. Poor turnaround time of vessel has huge cost implication to Nigerian importers.”

Dawes, who noted that increasing its harbour equipment from eight cranes to 11 cranes, represents 40 percent increase in our capacity, said this development put the terminal in a better position to do a minimum of 1 million Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) of containers annually.

According to him, APM Terminals has placed an order for another 11 rubber tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) for efficient movement of containers in the terminal. “The next batch of equipment that we will be taken delivery of in the next couple of weeks is 26 truck trailers to help in container movement.

“Nigeria is the fastest growing economy in Africa with the largest GDP and population, therefore increasing our capacity helps us to key into the opportunities. We are serious and committed to the future of Nigerian economy. We are servicing Nigerian economy to open-up other sectors of the economy, especially at this time of dwindling crude oil price.”

Read also: WACT to maintain strong presence in East Nigerian market with acquisition of $10m harbour cranes

Dawes further disclosed that the company, since inception in 2006, had invested over $335 million on acquisition of equipment, paving, buildings, training and installation of information technology equipment to facilitate trade in Nigeria. The deployment of the latest RTGs technology will bring the development in the phase three completion, thus increasing our capacity to 1 million TEU.

The terminal, which services 10 shipping lines and thousands of importers, currently operates 22 RTGs; 11 Mobile Harbour Cranes; 10 Reach Stackers, and 10 Empty Handlers and 75 Terminal Trucks.

Victor Enegide, a crane operator, who commented on the technology of new cranes, said it was an improvement on the previous versions of the cranes because the new cranes had better lighting system that made them convenient to work at night.

Sule Olanrewaju, another operator, said container handling had been made a lot easier now as these set of cranes were fitted with better flipper controls and push buttons.

In his own view, Kunle David, who expressed happiness over the acquisition of the cranes, said there was an overall improvement in safety standards on the new cranes “and we are really happy about it.”

APM Terminals Apapa is the largest container facility by capacity of the three ports serving Lagos, and this has doubled container volume in the past eight years and has dramatically improved productivity for Nigeria’s inbound containers. It also operates another terminal in Nigerian port known as the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), located in the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, in Rivers State.

Uzoamaka Anagor