BusinessDay

Port users commend APM Terminals for driving Ease of Doing Business

... Hailed for barging, digital services

Port users have commended APM Terminals Apapa, a major port operator in Nigeria, for providing barging services for cargo evacuation and digitalising its operations in line with improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Introduction of barging services was in response to the difficulty in accessing Apapa Port due to persistent traffic congestion on the port access roads, which in turn, has driven up the cost of shipping, logistics and other associated costs.

Bethrand Nduduim, chairman, Obetus Investments Nigeria Limited, a Customs licensed agency, said APM Terminals Apapa has brought in professionalism into the port industry, which has helped the flow of goods at the port.

“With the introduction of barge services, a lot of businesses have received a boost due to ease of delivery of cleared goods. With barging, one can move 20 containers at a time and it makes life easy for the agent and the importer,” he said.

Richard Ndah, managing director of Akwaport Nigeria Limited, also commended the terminal operator for introducing digital platforms in port business, which in turn, has enhanced ease of doing business.

“The online platform such as TermView eliminates the need for agents and importers to physically be at the port during cargo clearance and has greatly minimised the cost of operations for us. I monitor my containers via Termview. When it is time for positioning for examination, I get a confirmation alert. One can keep tracking the movement of his containers till they are loaded on the trucks,” he said.

Richard GC Smith, chief commercial officer of APM Terminals Apapa, said the terminal embarked on intermodal connections and digitisation drive in recent years.

“Barging operations began in 2017 and since then, our customer base for this service has grown. We partnered with several barge operators, all approved by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to evacuate cargo via the inland waterways. The more cargo we evacuate, the more we ease traffic congestion on the roads and the easier it is to do business at the ports,” he said.

Continuing, he explained: “We will continue to play a pivotal role in Nigeria’s multi-modal logistics and by offering barge services to both importers and exporters; we aim to support the growth of the economy.”

Terminals Apapa is one of the largest container terminals in West Africa. So far, it has committed more than US438 million in the development of infrastructures, handling equipment and IT hardware and software systems.

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