APM Terminals who took over running its Nigerian concessions in 2006, has made huge investments in upgrading and improving container port facilities at the Container Terminal Port located in Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria.

The company’s long term investment strategy is to enable greater efficiencies to benefit its customers, assist the wider economic growth plans of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with whom investment plans are aimed at complementing,  thereby  playing its role in lifting global trade from Nigeria.

APM Terminals Nigeria currently operates two ports: the Port of Apapa and the Port of Onne employing about 1,500 staff.

Worldwide network

APM Terminals operates a Global Terminal Network of 20,600 professionals and over 60 ports and 135 inland services operations in 58 countries around the globe. APM Terminals designs, builds and operates port and terminal facilities, as well as providing cargo Inland Services for cargo transportation between port facilities and inland locations, as well as other associated cargo handling functions. The world’s shipping industry and the global logistics chain rely upon APM Terminals and the APM Terminals Global Terminal Network for efficient access to all global markets.

In 2014, APM Terminal Apapa, which is the busiest container terminal in West Africa, handled 700,000 TEUs alone which represents about 45% of the Lagos container market.

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Record breakers

APM Terminals Apapa established a new productivity record in July 2015, handling 868 containers on the 4,500 TEU-capacity Safmarine Chambal over 11.5 hours, for a gross crane productivity of 19 container moves per crane an hour and a berth productivity of 75.65 MPH (moves per hour).  Thus, it became the first container terminal in Nigeria to surpass 75 MPH operational benchmark at the Mobile Harbour Crane port facility.

At inception in 2006, the average waiting  time for vessels calling at the Apapa port was up to 30 days; which reduced to eight days as at 2010. Today, however the number of wait days has been reduced to almost zero due to efficiency improvements.

Andrew Dawes, Managing Director of APM Terminals Apapa, said: “Not only have we removed the previous 30-day bottle neck to a move a customer’s cargo to the port, we have also made significant improvements in our real time on-terminal performance and operations”.

Driving efficiency

Driving greater efficiencies such as eradicating port congestion surcharges, which nearly a decade ago stood at around $300 per container, to reducing freight trade costs and time out of the logistics chain, has enabled APM Terminals Apapa to raise its profile as a world-class port operations company.

“Our vision as a company both locally and globally is that to become an economic enabler and that is the backdrop of everything we do. At APM Terminals we don’t just lift containers, we lift global trade” – Andrew Dawes.

Tapping the markets

One of APM Terminal Nigeria’s ICDs is situated in Kano, a city of with a population of over 9 million people, in the north of the country where there is an historical, agricultural-based economy. As part of its strategy to diversify its economy from oil revenue the federal government has rehabilitated a train line. Aligning with this, APM Terminals has invested in new rail sidings at both its Lagos and Kano sites in anticipation of trade development in that direction.

Dawes said: “As the government diversifies its dependency from oil revenue, agriculture will take a more prominent place in the economy and for us, this has huge potential. We hope that by enabling these trade corridors via our ICD and rail links, we will in turn lift the agricultural trade potential for Nigeria.”

APM Terminals Apapa currently has weekly trains which will service import needs of customers, and enable traders from these areas to move their goods to market as well.

State-of-the-art facilities

 The investment in upgrading the container terminal facilities has included many changes from improving infrastructure to building new staff, administration and engineering facilities.

There are now 11 mobile harbour cranes and a new fleet of Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes.

Also, a state-of-the-art container location system has been installed enabling tracking of all containers thereby greatly reducing and pedestrian activity in the terminal yard, a key part of our safety and efficiency drive.

An e-platform has also been launched to make operations smoother and more efficient for customers.

“We now have a full online system where customers can make payments online, get receipts or refunds; thereby reducing the need to come to the terminal.

Standardised training

APM Terminals globally standardised trainings packages are implemented in Nigeria. All APM Terminals employees worldwide comply with the same regulations set across all its facilities.

“We have built a technical training facility on site and hold regular technical and soft skill trainings when the need arises.  All staff here have access to the same training requirements as they would at any other APM Terminals facility around the world,” said Dawes.

“We also believe in investing in future generation. Interns from local colleges are taken on in the hope that they gain access to this exciting industry and of course may choose us as an employer in the future.”

Safety and the Environment

Most importantly; safety and security have been top of the list for investment for APM Terminals Apapa.

“Our safety initiatives are our greatest passion. We currently operate and uphold a zero-pedestrian safety campaign on our terminal yard. All employees are the custodians of safety and that is the cornerstone of our investment in training and retaining the best staff we can.”

Environmental issues are taken very seriously and APM Terminals Nigeria has upgraded its Rubber Tyre Gantry with the latest models which has reduced fuel consumption per hour by almost 50%.In the bid to meet global security standards, the company is working towards its ISO 28000 certification.

“We strive constantly to meet all security requirements locally and internationally in order to assure our internal and external customers that they are safe with us at all times,” said Dawes.

“Our high safety standard, improvements in operations and partnering with governments everywhere is part and parcel of our strategy of lifting global trade everywhere we are”.

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