By Eguono Odjegba
APM Terminals won the concession for the former Apapa Container Terminal in 2006. Part of its expression of interest was to develop, upgrade and grow the Nigerian economy in line with international standards and its cherished global image.
The company had inherited a substandard operational infrastructure which was running on analogue documentation, poor work environment with weak security architecture.
A turnaround was kicked off immediately with remodelling and rebuilding of the facilities. The company aimed to establish a structure that would take the Nigerian port economy to international standard. Thirteen years down the line, APMT has largely delivered on its promise of putting Nigeria in the global map of maritime nation, with a state-of-the-art shipping and ports system.
It has attracted modern ship handling technology, with regional, continental and international patronage, provided jobs, offered training in various high level industrial and operational technology, provided an alluring industrial landscape, and practically changed the face of port trade as the hitherto primitive work atmosphere dissolved quietly, gradually but firmly into a panorama of engaging industrial ambience.
Its services conforms to high standard of international best practices, and are offered in a secured, safe and timely manner. APMT has over the past 13 years also built a robust and engaging cordial relationship with industry stakeholders, and in many ways have provided joint user critical infrastructure in the industry’s logistic value chain.
APMT has grown its annual capacity to 1000TEUs, up from less than 100TEUs it inherited in 2006. The terminal has quay length of 1.005m and a record of broad base investments in infrastructure, handling equipments, modernization of terminal, in addition to IT hardware and software systems.
For optimal performance, APMT has paved its yard area calculated at 55hectares. As a result safe and secured movement of handling equipments, trucks and workers are guaranteed.
These innovations have significantly also driven up the terminal’s productivity with almost zero waiting time for vessel’s berthing, significantly doubling the volume of container receipt.
Perhaps, the foremost leading development partner in the industry, APMT has continued to provide critical logistics support for the industry free of charge, an example being the restoration of a regular railway service in and outside the Lagos port. In total it has in place three standard gauge rail lines, with two connected directed to the terminal and one, outside its perimeter area, serving other terminals and port users.
Not only has APMT a fully automated operation system, it has ensured that all operational sub grids such as container examination bay, staff training centre, container stacking area, customer service centre, its quay side are fully functional and built to international standard.
To ease trade facilitation and achieve cost efficiency, APMT has a total of four rubber tyre gantry, RTGs, machines for containers movement, loading and offloading, in addition to those operating at the quay side. In total it runs four containers stacking system, while the use of RTGs affords operational flexibility, safety and ease of movement of containers.
Instructively, workers wage structure is 60 percent over and above constitutional minimum wage framework, which has guaranteed workers motivation, aside the terminal’s unrivaled record of job security. Tied to this is operational safety, where workers and other terminal users such as truckers, visitors and customers are guaranteed maximum safety, in line with the requirements of International Ship and Port Security, ISPS, code.
It will be recalled that in 2014, APMT won the “Most Environmentally Conscious Port Operator” at the Lagos Port Complex given under the Nigerian Ports Authority Environment Department of Health, Safety Division.
Another marvel is APMT’s lead in the creation of workplace gender balancing, in consonance with the Federal Government’s drive to promote gender parity at work place. It is on record that the terminal remains the first in Nigerian port domain to produce female operator of its modern handling equipment.
The terminal has so far enriched the national purse with over N100billion in both in tax and fee since the concession.