West Africa’s big terminal, APMT Apapa, grows 23pc annually
MAERSK’s APM Terminals Apapa in the Port of Lagos reports that box throughput has increased 23 per cent annually over the past five years. reports Ibadan’s Nigerian Tribune.
“We handled 8,134, 847 TEU since 2006 and more than 650,000 TEU per year in 2020 and 2021 – most of that being import volume. Over the last years we have managed to grow the business extensively – by 23 per cent per annum,” said terminal manager Steen Knudsen.
“While there is a compelling need to reduce the dwell time of containers at the terminal, there are several factors – most of them beyond the control of a terminal operator – that make it possible for consignees to keep their containers at the terminal for a long period of time.
“As a terminal, we are interested in ensuring that dwell time remains as low as possible. However, there are processes in place that we are not in direct control of. These include customs clearing processes and related processes of other government agencies such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and so on. These agencies all have to approve the movement of cargo out of the port,” said Mr Knudsen.
“Another very relevant factor at the moment in terms of cargo flow is the foreign exchange rate to the US dollar, which is starting to hurt the Nigerian importers, and cargo seems to be slowing down simply because warehouses are getting full. Hence it is more likely that the container will stand in the seaport for a longer time,” Mr Knudsen said.
He said the strategy of APM Terminals Apapa is to be the preferred logistics gateway into the Nigerian economy, and in doing so – to provide world-class services.
APM Terminals Apapa is the largest container terminal in West Africa. With an investment of over US$438 million in equipment, facilities and other elements of its operations over the last 15 years.