NRC, APMT’s new SOP to enhance efficient cargo evacuation by rail
The development and deployment of new standard operating procedures (SOP) by the authorities of APM Terminals (APMT) Apapa and Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) is aimed at bridging the communication gap and ultimately lead to more efficient cargo evacuation by rail.
Daniel Odibe, general manager in charge of external affairs of APM Terminals Apapa stated this on the heels of the recent rejig of movement of freight by rail out of Apapa port by the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
Last Monday, APM Terminals Apapa and the NRC restored rail connectivity for containers to the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) in Apapa as part of efforts to reduce traffic congestion on roads.
According to the APM Terminal spokesman, “This is an important milestone for the port. Having a Standard Operating Procedure for receiving trains into the terminal and servicing them, helps planning, as you have adequate information ahead of time.”
While thanking the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) for the support, Odibe said that with the closure of a section of the Apapa Bridge for repair works, the resumption of rail services will help reduce a backlog of containers waiting at the port. Apapa seaport has recently seen a growth in barging operations with a growing number of containers moved daily by barges from the port.
Recall that APM Terminals constructed the Port’s rail line and connected it to the national line in 2013, to provide alternate to road transport for customers. Re-commencing the rail operation will remove trucks from the road and improve environmental standards.
Re-introducing rail connectivity at the port follows on from the acquisition of two new Mobile Harbour Cranes earlier this year. These were part of an agreed investment of $80 million for the year 2020-2021, bringing the total investment by the company in Apapa since 2006 to $438million, which is the highest by any private terminal operator in Nigeria.
Speaking with BusinessDay on the environmental benefits of freight movement by rail, Jerry Oche, Lagos district manager of NRC said, “A train is made up of 19 wagons and each of the wagons can take one 40 feet or two 20 feet containers. So, if we are doing 40feet, that is 19 trucks off the road and if it is 20 feet that is 38 trucks off the road per trip. We are starting with two trips per day and we hope to increase it in no distant time”.