Terminal operator slashes charges to decongest Apapa port
The lingering congestion at the seaports in Lagos State – TinCan and Apapa, has continued to threaten multi-billion dollar businesses in the country, as importers groan under the severe impact.
For several years, the ports have suffered dilapidated access roads, lack of cargo scanners and other facilities that made importers abandon their cargoes at the terminals.
The Guardian gathered that 70 per cent of the overtime cargoes belong to various government agencies, while the balance are those of private importers that resorted to using the ports as a warehouse.
To ease the congestion, various stakeholders are creating incentives to prompt importers to clear those cargoes. While the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), considers a public-private partnership arrangement for a Truck Transit Park, to clear the traffic along ports access road, APM Terminals, has announced a 50 per cent discount on 1,290 longstanding containers at the Apapa port.
APM Terminals said: “In support of the efforts of NPA to decongest the port to enable the discharge of new containers, we urgently requests the importers of the 1,290 containers that have been in the terminal for 365 days to 4,000 days to clear them.
“To assist importers, and in support of government policy, the terminal will offer 50 per cent discount on the storage charges for any of the listed containers delivered until 15th March, 2020. Full tariff will be payable from 16th March, 2020,” APM Terminals said in a notice to port users on Monday.
Recently, APM Terminals Apapa had urged importers to ensure prompt delivery of their containers to avoid build-up at the port as a result of increasing volumes.
“We have recently experienced a substantial increase in volume of containers arriving through the seaports. This positive development can be attributed to various positive government policies such as improvement in the implementation of Ease of Doing Business policy, the Agriculture Promotion Policy and closure of land borders, to curtail smuggling activities amongst others.
“However, if these containers are not cleared by customers soon enough, this volume increase could lead to high yard density, which could impact berthing of vessels resulting in vessel queues. We are anticipating further improvement in throughput ahead of Christmas and year end,” the operator had said in a statement issued in November 2019.
“We therefore urge all the relevant stakeholders and the wider port community to ensure timely delivery of containers in an effective manner without compromising government’s policies and procedures. The terminal is willing to offer discount for longstanding containers commensurate with dwell time and therefore urge customers with containers in this category to take advantage of the offer and take delivery of their containers”.
“We commend the NPA for operating the Lilypond Transit Truck Park, and the Presidential Task Team on decongesting Apapa access roads for their effective implementation of the call-up system and traffic management system respectively.
“As for the terminal, we assure the shipping lines and our landside customers, that we are dedicating adequate resources despite the seasonal bad weather, working closely with the Port authority, other relevant agencies and stakeholders for improved terminal performance to ensure prompt cargo delivery after release by the Nigeria Customs Service,” it added.