• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Operator expands gate facility at Onne Port to ease cargo movement

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Determined to ease the movement of cargo in the port, West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) has expanded and officially commissioned a newly built four-lane in-gate facility at Onne Port, Rivers State.

The investment in the new facility brings WACT closer towards its strategic vision of becoming the ‘gateway to Eastern Nigeria and beyond,’ offering a comprehensive suite of logistics solutions to empower Nigerian businesses and further boost operational efficiency, improve security, access, and expedite cargo movement within the port.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the commissioning of the new in-gate in Onne Port, Rivers State recently, Jeethu Jose, managing director of WACT, said the new in-gate is part of the terminal’s $115 million investment in the terminal upgrade project.

“This investment is a further testament to the trust and confidence APM Terminals has in Nigeria’s economy and part of the Group’s drive to improve lives for all while lifting global trade.

“This inauguration is also a great example of our strong public-private partnership with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Just yesterday, the NPA launched the Road D stretch within the port. Today, WACT is complimenting NPA’s commitment to improving infrastructure within the port with the present in-gate commissioning. This is the result of the strong collaboration between WACT and NPA. The goal is to make the Onne Port and WACT the traders’ choice for both local and international players and this goal we shall pursue to the last,” he said.

Jose said the new facility will improve efficiency and ease trade in WACT.

“The new in-gate will help customers in the timely booking for pick-up of their full imports, empty drop-offs or full export drop-offs. With the WACT’s Truck Appointment System (TAS) in place, the new in-gate will help our customers to have more than one transaction on a truck in and or out of the WACT facility easily.

“This gate will further help the truck turnaround time to be under 45 minutes thereby reducing costs to the end customer, reducing congestion along the road and helping the throughput as well. We are therefore sweating our assets and removing waste in the process to improve efficiency and ease trade in WACT. This is in sharp consonance with the Federal Government’s drive for ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“This is a journey, and we will continue to innovate and bring in services and products to further improve our customer’s experience. We are here to make sure the cargo movement is simplified, and efficient at all times,” he said.

Also speaking, Gangtim Cirdap Zhattau, Port Manager of Onne Port, who was represented at the event by Abolade Surajudeen, traffic manager, alongside Uzo Akwarandu, chief port engineer, commended the terminal operator for collaborating with the NPA to enhance infrastructure and traffic operations within the port.

“WACT has been able to put up security cameras and call-up systems to enhance traffic operation within the Road D port terminal and it is a good thing for us. By the time we finish all of this, we can start doing the traffic modelling.

Adolphus Ugwu, chairman of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria Haulage District, Eastern Ports Command, expressed appreciation to WACT for its commitment to ensuring smooth service delivery to customers.

“Before now, we have been having challenges accessing the port premises but from what we are seeing, this development will ease off congestion and delay in accessing the port. This place will make operations seamless for the truckers to pick up consignment,” he said.

WACT is the first Greenfield container terminal in Nigeria to be built under a Public-Private Partnership model. The terminal is located within the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne Port, Rivers State.