TTP marks one year of using electronic call-up to solve Apapa congestion
…Plans to expand automation, engagement with terminals
The Trucks Transit Parks (TTP) Limited, a private technology firm in charge of batching trucks into ports in Lagos in partnership with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has on Monday, marked one year of using an electronic call-up system known as Eto App in solving the protracted Apapa gridlock.
With electronic call-up, TTP has in the last one year, recorded several milestones including a reduction in traffic congestion within the Lagos Port access corridors, reduction in extortion and illegal payments by truckers, achieving about 65 percent reduction in haulage cost and enhancing traffic orderliness around Apapa.
Listing the company’s future plans at an event to mark the one year of Eto call-up system in Lagos on Monday, Jama Onwubuariri, managing director of the Trucks Transit Parks, said the firm plans to invest more into expanding its automation processes in order to ensure that less human interference is involved in the process of admitting trucks into the port.
This, according to him, will ensure timeliness and efficiency for customers using Eto App.
Onwubuariri said the TTP will expand its engagement with terminal operators to ensure that traffic sanity on the Apapa roads can translate to port efficiency.
“We recently implemented the Terminal Request Procedure, which enables terminals to provide electronically on the Eto App, the number of export and empty containers that are expected from the shipping lines on a daily basis. The NPA is also expected to get from terminal operators the number of trucks they can process in a day across all the categories,” he explained.
He said the NPA Traffic Managers are expected to update the Eto App with that information, which will be the basis for releasing trucks from various pre-gate terminals to the ports.
This process, he said, will enable TTP to match terminals’ expectations with the number they can process and the number of trucks that are sent to the street daily.
Given insight into issues around charges for using truck parks, he said that the service fee for trucks using Lilypond is N10, 000 plus N750 VAT.
Explaining further, Onwubuariri said that a trucker that has a fleet of trucks booked to go to the port without having a personalised park, must first go to one of the registered satellite parks established by the NPA from where the truck can access the pre-gate, and the truck must pay for using two parks (satellite park and pre-gate) amounting to 20,000 for the both.
“To schedule movement into any of those satellite parks, Eto App is used to batch trucks, and the N10,000 paid in such parks is shared between the third party park owner and TTP for using the app,” he said.
Ayo Durowaiye, assistant general manager, operations of the NPA, who congratulated TTP for the milestones achieved in the last one year, said that a lot needs to be done for the Lagos Port to get to where NPA and stakeholders want it to be.
According to him, the TPP needs to address issues associated with internal challenges, charges, physical and technological infrastructure, customers interface, as well as complaints of displeasure from customers.
Durowaiye, who doubles as the chairman of the electronic call-up implementation committee, said there is a need to ensure that the milestones achieved in managing Apapa traffic congestion can translate into efficiency at the port.
On his part, Sola Giwa, senior special assistant to the Lagos State Governor on the Central Business District, called on the Federal Government to enable cargo evacuation from the Tin-Can Island Port by repairing the Sunrise and Tin-Can axis of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, which he puts at 2 kilometers.
Giwa pointed out that most of the challenges affecting the electronic call-up in the last one year had to do with bad roads and people trying to circumvent the system in order to get to the port at all costs.
He advised TTP to look at addressing issues around its internal structure, increase staff capacity and its communication strategy in this second year.