• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Genesis Shipping plans new container terminals to ease cargo movement

How export terminals, call-up system facilitate trade from Nigeria

Genesis Worldwide Shipping Nigeria Limited said it is perfecting plans to build a new container terminal on an Island in Lagos, and another off-dock terminal in the Lagos suburb as a contribution to finding solutions to the Apapa congestion problem.

Apapa congestion has been creating serious inconveniences for shippers resulting in the extra cost of doing business, but off-dock terminals that receive and warehouse containers can help to create relief for port users.

Emmanuel Iheanacho, managing director of Genesis Worldwide Shipping, said during a conversation with One Page Africa tagged on CEOs Talk Business that building logistics infrastructure will help importers to avoid entry into Apapa Port.

“We own a property in Lagos and we are going to develop a container terminal therein. The idea is to create a facility where ships can bring containers from foreign countries and land them on that Island. We can then transship those cargoes using barges to a place such as Ikorodu or Itokin. We have to get Customs permission to move those cargoes from the point of discharge to off dock location,” he said.

Iheanacho said the company has started the construction of the off-dock and will come to the main dock which is a major investment when the off-dock is ready.

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He said the main dock will require building docking facilities to receive Panama-sized vessels of about 265 meters long with a draft of 13 to 14 meters.

“We have to build a dock that is big enough to host such a vessel. We have to equip the adjacent cargo storage area with adequate cargo handling equipment to remove cargo from the ship. We have to get trucks that would carry laden containers and put them in storage. We have to designate and segregate the cargoes that are coming in into laden, empties, agricultural products for export, and refrigerated cargoes,” he said.

According to Iheanacho, part of the congestion in Lagos is caused by too many trucks coming in and out of Lagos, and Genesis Shipping wants to avoid that entirely by creating a choice for international traders to have access to their goods without having to join that debilitating queue that forms on a daily basis for people who are coming to do business at the port.

While pointing out that building a rail facility going out of the port is a major investment that is better handled by the government, he said the new structure will not involve bringing trucks to the terminal.

“We want to subscribe to a more efficient use of our inland waterways so that the goods would be transported from the foreign ship unto our terminal and we will use the services of barges to move the goods to our off-dock terminal where we will have all the agencies that attend to import and export cargoes at the port,” he further said.

He however said that instead of coming to add to the congestion in Lagos, the importer will go to Ikorodu of Itokin to clear the goods and join the expressway leading to Ijebu-Ode to connect the East and other places.

“It is going to be a long-term investment because building the main terminal would take about two years because it will involve the construction of jetties, pilling, and others. We intend to adopt a process of phased development. The container terminal is going to seat on 20 hectares of land and will have the capacity to accommodate more than 10,000 TEUs of containers at a time with additional capacity for expansion,” he added.