The Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, has suggested that export cargo should be placed on priority list and treated as such going by the current economic realities.
According to him, export cargoes should not attract storage charges and should be accelerated through the terminals.
Receiving Klaus Laursen, the newly-appointed Country Manager of APM Terminals in his office in Lagos, Bello expressed concern about the congestion at port terminals.
A statement signed by Rakiya Zubairu, head, Public Relations, stated that Bello commended APMT for the acquisition of new cargo handling equipment.
He also informed the APMT Country Manager of Council’s resolve to ensure that all terminal processes are fully automated and integrated with other port service providers’ and users before the year runs out.
He however commended APMT’s collaboration with Nigerian Railway Corporation and barge operators in cargo delivery and evacuation.
Responding, Laursen said congestion at the terminal was due to freight forwarders not coming to clear their containers. This, he said, has contributed in no small way to the back up of ships on Nigeria’s territorial waters.
On a somewhat bright note, he said, APMT has been able to reduce yard occupancy from 98 percent to 77 percent.
On automation, Laursen said APMT plans to optimise haulage at its terminal by implementing an electronic platform for truck management, adding that discussions on this are ongoing with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
He added that the terminal issues, Terminal Delivery Orders online, payments, invoicing and a range of other services are also online so that freight forwarders don’t need to be physically present at their terminal.
With regards to export cargo, Laursen said they need to have all their documentation including Customs clearance before accessing the terminal.
He suggested that the Nigeria Railway Corporation needs to advertise its services in order to increase patronage.