By Godwin Oritse
NIGERIA’s leading container terminal operator, APM Terminals Apapa has introduced a Berthing Window service to reduce the waiting time of ships and help consignees take prompt delivery of their consignments at the port.
The first Berthing Window for the WAF/MWX service (operated by Hapag Lloyd, CMA-CGM & Arkas) was launched on last week with the arrival of the 4,360 TEU CMA CGM LAPIS at APM Terminals Apapa, which is located within the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.
The Chief Commercial Officer of APM Terminals Apapa, Richard Smith, who was represented at the launch of the maiden edition of the Berthing Window by the Commercial Manager, Temilade Ogunniyi, said the service will enable the allocation of a fixed time period for vessels to berth, discharge, load and sail.
He said the new Berthing Window is another major milestone achievement at APM Terminals Apapa to enhance service delivery and improve customer experience.
“The berthing window is a major step towards bringing structure to the berth schedule, cutting waiting time to zero, assisting shipping lines to maintain a regular fixed arrival time, and allowing us to deliver better services to Nigerian importers and exporters,” Smith said.
The Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex Apapa, Olufunmilayo Olotu, who also witnessed the launch of the Berthing Window, commended APM Terminals Apapa for the new initiative, which she said would boost service delivery and eliminate ship waiting time at the port.
“This development means the schedules are sent ahead and there will be no more waiting time. We are placing premium on professionalism and professionalism means aligning with international best practices, one of which we are witnessing today.
“It has been said that shipping is all about time and time is money. We want to reduce the number of ships that are kept waiting at anchorage. So for every minute that a vessel is kept waiting, we are talking of global economic implications. Therefore, our duty is to ensure that we reduce the waiting time to the barest minimum, and we are collaborating with APM Terminals to ensure that customers are satisfied,” Olotu said.
Also speaking at the event, Senior Manager, Operation at Hapag-Lloyd, Abimbola Kolade, commended APM Terminals for launching the Berthing Window.
He said, “This development would bring sanity to vessel schedules. By sanity, I mean we will be able to tell our customers that our vessels would be at the port at a certain date and the cargo would get loaded. With this, we can assure them that their cargo would be delivered to the final destination at a certain time.
“You know when the window is starting, and so you know how to plan your time towards the arrival of your goods. In the overall scheme of things, there is going to be reduced cost for our customers.
“What this means for exports is that we can tell customers when their containers will be loaded onto the vessel at Apapa and when the vessel would get to its destination. This will give them the confidence to deal with their customers overseas.”
APM Terminals is the largest container terminal in West Africa. With an investment of about USD438 million (approximately N219 billion), the terminal has continued to introduce new innovations to help both shipping lines and landside customers achieve improved supply chain efficiency, flexibility and dependability, in a cost-effective manner.