WACT to maintain strong presence in East Nigerian market with acquisition of $10m harbour cranes

… New cranes to arrive in July

L- R: Adolphus Ugwu, chairman, Flat and Cargo Truckers’ Association; Agbo Julius, acting port manager, Onne Port; Aamir Mirza, managing director, WACT; Yahaya Idris, assistant comptroller of Customs, Port Harcourt 2 Area Command, Onne, and Godwin Ololuka, chairman, Nigerian Port Consultative Council, Onne Port chapter, during the commissioning of new specialised terminal trucks and empty handler acquired by WACT at the Onne Port, recently.
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Determined to maintain a strong presence in Eastern Nigerian market through investment in more container handling equipment, the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), Onne Port, Rivers State, the biggest container terminal outside Lagos, is perfecting plans to take delivery of two new mobile harbor cranes from Liebherr, valued at $10 million.

The investment in cranes and other terminal equipment are part of WACT’s ongoing terminal upgrade, aimed at bringing it at par with its peers in Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports, Lagos in equipment and operational efficiency.

Aamir Mirza, managing director of WACT, said during the commissioning of four new specialised terminal trucks and an empty handler in Onne on Friday that the mobile harbor cranes are expected to arrive Nigeria in July this year.

According to him, the acquisition of four additional specialised terminal trucks brings to 10, the number of trucks acquired by WACT this year, with four more expected before the end of the year.

“Recall that four trucks arrived first in February, then we added two in April, and four have just arrived. Before now, we had 12 in use. The trucks are required to support the operations of mobile harbor cranes, which operates at a faster rate compared to vessel cranes,” he said.

He further said the idea was to ensure the availability of trucks prior to the arrival of the two cranes in July, adding that the commissioning of the cranes would enable the terminal to have all the required equipment that would enable efficient operation.

“We have been investing in getting more equipment to our terminal to ensure continuity in serving our customers better, enable timely delivery of cargo and grow business. We assure customers of continued commitment in serving them better,” he added.

While expressing appreciation to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for their support and collaboration, Mirza said apart from investing in equipment, WACT had also focused on improving communication with its customers on major developments at the terminal.

“We have also added more computers to the clearing agents’ office to enable them download invoices and complete their documentation before coming to the terminal. It is basically a mutual relationship that we are trying to maintain with all stakeholders. We are taking steps to improve the level of service in order to ensure our business and theirs continue to grow,” Mirza said.

Agbo Julius, acting Port Manager of Onne Port, who witnessed the commissioning of the four new specialised terminal trucks and empty handler, lauded WACT for its commitment to operational efficiency and service delivery at the port.

“WACT have improved on their operation and I want to commend them for that. When we come around here and see how big the place is with operations going on smoothly using very modern equipment, we keep on moving closer to our goal of being the leading port in Africa.

“The commissioning of this equipment is encouraging because it is not the first time WACT is doing this. When we have operational equipment, it means we will improve our efficiency and service delivery, which is the cornerstone of Onne Port,” Julius said.

AMAKA ANAGOR-EWUZIE

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