By Godwin Oritse
WEST Africa Container Terminal Nigeria, WACT, weekend received its second largest container-ship to berth at a Nigerian port.
The 5,042 TEUs containership named Lady Jane operated by OOCL shipping line having a length overall of 294.5 meters arrived at WACT terminal Onne Port Complex, Rivers State, on Wednesday 13th April.
Recall that WACT about two years ago made history in August 2020 when it received the largest container-ship to in Nigeria. The ship named Maersk Stadelhorn has length overall of 300 meters and capacity to carry about 10,000 TEUs.
Managing Director of WACT, Naved Zafar, said that effective coordination by Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) and the USD112 million (about N47 billion) investment in the terminal by APM Terminals, made it possible to handle very large container vessels.
He said, “Lady Jane is the second largest ship to call at WACT.
This is important because as you know, WACT has embarked on a transformation plan since last year with an ambition to become the most efficient and reliable partner to our customers. Declaring a big ship like this is a clear indication of the unwavering trust in our capabilities and an affirmation of the investments that we have made since last year.”
“In line with WACT’s vision of becoming the gateway to East Nigeria and beyond, we continue to stretch our boundaries by investing and expanding in our service capabilities to deliver the best-in-class supply chain solutions to both our shipping line customers and landside customers. The arrival of Lady Jane is the practical manifestation of that commitment,” the WACT Managing Director further stated.
Also speaking, the Port Manager of Onne Port, Stanley Magaji Yitnoe, said, “This achievement indicates that container traffic is growing. Last year, container traffic in Onne grew by 31% but with Lady Jane bringing in containers to discharge and to load, including full exports, container traffic is definitely picking up in Onne.
We have WACT to thank for that and they are doing far more, as they are about to roll out a Container Freight Station (CFS) with focus on handing agri-commodities, which means more full exports will be loaded out of Onne Port once the CFS resume operations.”
The Commercial Manager of WACT, Noah Sheriff, described the berthing of large containerships at the terminal as a great achievement.
“It brings additional capacity both on the import and export side and all categories of our customers stand to benefit,” Sheriff said.
“For the import customers, the regular direct services from the Far East coupled with our berthing window protocol, cargoes get here on time and agents/consignees are able to get the cargo to the market quicker using our online platforms.
“For export customers, Lady Jane provides more slots for export loadings, which is important for the overall economy today. It is a good development for our shipping line customers as well, as we are positioned to accommodate such upgrade on the back of the recent investment,” he said.
Sheriff said that WACT continues to increase its e-commerce capabilities with the upcoming Truck Appointment System (TAS) product, which will further enhance service delivery for trucks visiting its facility.
“Once TAS is rolled out, truckers who book appointment will not have to wait in pre-gate lines to access the terminal. They will have direct access to the terminal per scheduled slot. TAS booking will be similar to the seamless online booking for physical examination product we offer today.
“Our vision is to make WACT the best performing terminal in West Africa by providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective services to our customers,” he added.
WACT is the first greenfield terminal in Nigeria and is fully owned APM Terminals.