• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

Lilypond terminal loses N500m to cargo volume decline in one year

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The last may not have been heard of the economic implications of decline in importation volume that is currently rocking the Nigerian port industry as the management of Lilypond Container Depot said the company lost a whopping N500 million in the past one year.

Lilypond terminal, an inland container depot (ICD) situated at an Ijora, Lagos, owned by the Apapa Container Terminal (APM Terminals), is currently inactive due to low container volume. The ICD was concessioned to APM Terminals to enable the company transfer containers from the port to reduce the congestion in the port.

Findings have shown that Apapa Port, which is the parent company of Lilypond Terminal, has been experiencing a low volume of imports since last year. As a result, container dwell time at the port has reduced substantially thus eliminating the need for transfer of containers to its off-dock facilities.

Also, the capacity utilisation at the main port of Apapa container terminal currently stands at about 60 percent due to decline in cargo volume.

Tristram Denyer, logistics manager of Lilypond container depot, said apart from the concession fee paid to the Federal Government in 2006, the firm has invested N3 billion in the development of the facility.

The sum, according to Denyer, was spent on acquisition of cargo handling equipment, information technology facilities, better infrastructure, safety and capacity building of staff.

Operations at Lilypond peaked in 2011 with a record cargo throughput of 47,000 TEUs; however, the company said it does not expect to see a return of the situation in the foreseeable future.

Speaking on the lack of transfer of containers from Apapa to Lilypond, Bolaji Akinola, spokesperson, APM Terminals Apapa, said transfer of containers to Inland Container Depots (ICDs) is no longer feasible because it adds more cost to the logistics chain and to the importer; apart from the low volume being experienced at the port.

“Importers simply do not wish to pay extra– they wish to take direct delivery from the port and reduce their costs. Besides, there is a lot of unused capacity at the port, so transfer to ICDs is not on the table now”, he said.

In terms of cost, for an importer to clear and take delivery of his or her consignment from Nigerian port, the consignee will be expected to pay about 14 charges before taking delivery of his/her consignment while an importer that is clearing from any of the ICDs or off-dock terminals is expected to pay about 20 charges, giving additional six charges that include transfer fees.