For global trade to grow, there is a need for efficient port operation and deployment of integrated solutions, Steen Knudsen, terminal manager of APM Terminals Apapa, has said.
According to him, the terminal has through automation, improved its processes, as importers and their agents can now book their containers for examination and carry out other transactions online from the comfort of their homes or offices without having to visit the terminal.
Knudsen made this known recently when Akutah Pius Ukeyima, executive secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), and a delegation of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) led by Nwokeji Emenike, national president, visited the terminal separately.
He said collaboration between stakeholders in the logistics value chain is also critical to improving port operations.
Knudsen however said many of the factors militating against the prompt delivery of containers at the terminal are outside the control of the terminal operator.
“We started a new and exciting journey in Apapa three years ago where we deployed a significant amount of new equipment. We have also improved our facilities and trained all employees across functions and levels. This journey is our transformation to international standards,” he said.
He assured freight forwarders and licensed Customs agents of efficient service and timely delivery of their containers.
He said the terminal had invested substantially in digital technology and cargo handling equipment to ensure prompt service delivery to its customers.
Expressing optimism that cargo delivery to consignees would be faster with the deployment of more scanners to the port, Knudsen added that APM Terminals was in talks with the Nigeria Customs Service to invest in more scanners.
He also charged truck drivers to comply with the rules of engagement of the Eto electronic call-up system created by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“By-passing the electronic truck system creates problems on the road and in the port, thereby hampering efficient cargo delivery,” he said.
Akutah Pius Ukeyima, executive secretary of NSC, reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to port efficiency and the Federal Government’s commitment to improving port infrastructure.
Nwokeji Emenike, national president of ANLCA, said his association will continue to engage with terminal operators to improve efficiency at the port.