Globally, the use of containerized bulk materials handling solutions in the haulage business which ensures safe and efficient offloading in road and rail hauling has gained very significant traction that no nation should be left behind, including Nigeria, Africa’s biggest nation with high volume of sea trade.
Apart from that, the safe and efficient offloading of materials from both rail wagons and road trucks also improves efficiencies, lowers operating costs and protects product integrity during bulk handling, says experts familiar with how rail operations works.
who argues that, as a way of facilitating container haulage and avert the recurring decimal of gridlock in and around Apapa, authorities concerned must ensure that, wagons must be designed in a way that, it will handle containerised bulk materials handling products for high-speed, heavy-haul and inter-modal functions for both road and rail infrastructure.
According to some concerned industry stakeholders who are worried by the perennial traffic menace in Apapa and its environs, the federal government through the federal ministry of transportation, with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) should also make sure, the planned train wagon assembly plant in Kajola, Ogun State accommodates facilities for the manufacture of equipment for fast unloading of open-top containers.
Part of the range of the finished products that could be rolled out of the Kajola wagon assembly factory should include inter-modal side tipper bins for rapid offloading of materials from rail wagons and road trucks and side-tip reception feeders that receives bulk materials directly from tipping trucks and loading shovels.
The tippler can be developed for the efficient unloading of containerized material from open-top containers. This advanced system allows for fast and efficient engagement, and unloading and repositioning of closely-spaced (ISO) International Standards Organisation-sized open-top containers, from road or rail transport wagons.
Once the container is safely engaged, the control system takes over full functionality to lift, unload and reposition the empty container, without the need for operator intervention.
This bulk materials transport system, which ensures ease of loading, handling and transport by either road or rail, enables traditionally locked-in markets, including miners and producers, to deliver material batches to terminals for export at rock-bottom prices.
Although some stakeholders support the global initiative to move freight transport from road to rail, others believe in a combination of the benefits of rail and road transport.
Key advantages of rail infrastructure over road transport include less long-haul bulk traffic on national roads, which results in reduced congestion and decreased wear of road surfaces.
Other benefits include improved safety for drivers and cargo, decreased road-related freight emissions and reduced insurance premiums throughout the logistics chain and high returns on investment by the haulage companies and rail service operators.