By UDEME CLEMENT
The concessionaire in charge of Lagos Port, APM Terminals Apapa Limited, has concluded arrangements to take over logistics for scanning of containers at the terminal to fast track operations.
The managing director of the company, Mr. Dallas Hampton, disclosed this, stressing that the new arrangement would increase output in terms of the number of containers scanned by up to 100 percent.
He added: “The new arrangement was borne out of our deep concern to contribute in reducing bottlenecks often associated with the clearing procedure at the port while also reducing cost burden on importers.
We have been trying for 9 months to find a way to improve the scanning process at APMT Apapa by obtaining information on containers to be scanned in advance of vessel arrival.
However we have not been able to get all stakeholders to agree on the best way to do this. We have therefore decided to go with a second option, which would involve moving the containers on our own trucks to the scanning site and passing them through the scanners to reduce time.
“Though the factors which led to the delay in scanning containers prior to the new logistics arrangement were not within the control of our company, APM Terminals had to step in to proffer a solution because we are a responsive firm always looking for best solutions for our customers.
Currently less than 100 containers were scanned at the terminal daily, but with the new system up to 200 containers could be scanned daily. We would reduce the burden of importers and agents and it is our belief that this would result in substantial cost savings to our customers”.
Hampton further commended the Apapa Area One Command of the Nigeria Customs Service and the service provider, Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited for cooperating with APM Terminals in driving the new initiative.
Since it commenced operations in Apapa in 2006, APM Terminals has expended over 180 million dollars to upgrade Apapa Container Terminal with a further 60 million dollars of investment planned for 2012. It recently commissioned and moved into a new modern administrative building located near the terminal entry gate.