By Innocent Orok
The Executive Secretary/CEO of
Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Mr. Hassan Bello has said Export trade is the new normal to the Nigerian economy. Bello reiterated this while receiving, Mr. Klaus Laursen, the newly appointed Country Manager of APM terminals in his office in Lagos.
Welcoming Mr. Laursen to Nigeria, Bello commended APMT for its acquisition of new cargo handling equipment, he however expressed concern about the congestion at the terminal.
According to a statement by Rakiya Zubairu, Head , Public Relations of the NSC, Bello told the APMT boss that current economic realities dictate that exports are priority and must be treated as such.
The ES also suggested that export cargoes should not attract storage charges and should be accelerated through the terminals.
He also informed the APMT Country Manager of the Council’s resolve to ensure that all terminal processes are fully automated and integrated with other port service providers’ and user’s before the year runs out.
While also commending APMT’s collaboration with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and barge operators in cargo delivery and evacuation within and outside the ports.
Responding, Mr. Klaus Laursen said congestion at the terminal is due to Freight Forwarders not coming forward to clear their containers. This he said has contributed in no small way to the back up of ships on Nigeria’s territorial waters.
On a somewhat bright note, he said APMT has been able to reduce yard occupancy from 98% to 77%.
While on automation, Mr. Laursen said APMT plans to optimize haulage at its terminal by implementing an electronic platform for truck management.
He said discussions on this are ongoing with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
He added that the terminal issues, Terminal Delivery Orders ( TDO) online payments, invoicing and a range of other services are also available online so that Freight Forwarders don’t need to be physically present at their terminal to make payments.
With regard to export cargo, Laursen said Exporters need to have all their documentations including Customs clearance before accessing the terminal.
He suggested that the Nigeria Railway Corporation advertise its services in order to increase patronage.
APMT is the biggest terminal in Nigeria having taken over the Apapa Container terminal during the ports concessions in Nigeria.