As part of its efforts to decongest its terminal of overtime containers and create space for new ones, APM Terminals Apapa, an operator of the busiest container terminal in Nigeria, said on Monday that it has concluded plans to open a grace window for owners of longstanding containers to clear their consignments on discounted rates.
According to the operator, the move was aimed at decongesting the port, adding that it will offer 50 percent discount on storage charges of 1,290 selected containers that have been in the terminal for 365 days to 4000 days.
“In support of the efforts of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to decongest the port to enable the discharge of new containers, APM Terminals urgently requests the importers of some 1,290 containers that have been in the terminal for 365 days to 4000 days, to clear them,” the operator stated in a notice to port users on Monday.
It added that it was determined, in support of government policy, to assist importers by offering 50 percent discount on the storage charges for any of the selected containers delivered until 15th March 2020.
While encouraging cargo owners to make maximum use of the opportunity in clearing their consignments, the operator further explained that full tariff on such containers, will be payable from 16th March 2020, which is at the expiration of the grace period.
Recently, APM Terminals Apapa had urged importers to ensure prompt delivery of their containers to avoid buildup at the port as a result of increasing volumes.
“We have recently experienced a substantial increase in volume of containers arriving through the seaports. This positive development can be attributed to various positive government policies such as improvement in the implementation of Ease of Doing Business policy, the Agriculture Promotion Policy and closure of land borders to curtail smuggling activities amongst others,” the operator had said in a statement issued in November 2019.
Continuing, it stated: “However, if these containers are not cleared by customers soon enough, this volume increase could lead to high yard density which could impact berthing of vessels resulting in vessel queues. We are anticipating further improvement in throughput ahead of Christmas and year end,” the leading terminal.
It however urged all the relevant stakeholders and the wider port community to ensure timely delivery of containers in an effective manner without compromising government’s policies and procedures.
“We assure the shipping lines and our landside customers, that we are dedicating adequate resources despite the seasonal bad weather, working closely with the Port authority, other relevant agencies and stakeholders for improved terminal performance, to ensure prompt cargo delivery after release by the Nigeria Customs Service,” the company had added at the time.
The operator however commended NPA for operating the Lilypond Transit Truck Park and the Presidential Task Team on decongesting Apapa access roads for the effective implementation of call-up system as well as traffic management system.
Recall that Nigerian port is presently experiencing its worst congestion years after concession as it now takes between 10 to 25 days in waiting time for ships with laden containers to berth in the terminals in Lagos ports due to lack of space to discharge the containers.