As its additional contribution towards decongesting the roads in Apapa, Lagos, the management of APM Terminals Apapa Limited has offered the use of Lilypond Container Depot as a drop off location for empty containers. Chief Commercial Officer of APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Neil Fletcher, said truck drivers carrying containers destined for the terminal need not come all the way to the port as they can now drop such empties at the Lilypond Container Depot in Ijora.
He said the measure is to further assist in decongesting the roads. Fletcher also said that APM Terminals management met with truck operators on Thursday to address challenges they might encounter in plying the port as a result of the traffic gridlock being experienced in Apapa.
The traffic gridlock is as a result of the bad road condition leading into and out of Apapa. He said trucking operations resumed at the port terminal on Thursday after the meeting with the operators who had suspended work on Wednesday because of the challenges they face on the road.
Fletcher said APM Terminals Apapa has delivered out record volumes of containers in the past two months.
He said 35,124 import containers were delivered out in May and June which represents the largest volume delivered in two months in the history of the terminal.
He said the large delivery volume is as a result of huge investment in plants and modern container handling equipment. “At present, we operate with 22 (RTGs) Rubber Tire Gantry cranes, 17 reach stackers & empty container handlers and 75 terminal trucks. This is unmatched in any other terminal and is sufficient for our level of operation,” he stated.
Fletcher said that truck turnaround times at the terminal have reduced from 1hour 53 minutes in February 2014 to 1hour 40 minutes in June 2014.
“Dwell times for laden imports have reduced by three days from May to June 2014. Our current civil project which has cost $135 million is within two months of completion and has resulted in a superior service to our land side customers.
“We have been and are working closely with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders to ease the problem of the congestion in Apapa. “NPA is heading a committee of stakeholders to find solutions to the traffic issues in Apapa and APM Terminals is a part of this committee.
“The entire port community is working together to address as best they can the issues that have built up on the roads in Apapa and Tin Can. “The community is also united at this time in not pointing fingers of accusation but ensuring that clear defined action plans are put in place.
“Each and every entity is playing its part in this. For example, APM Terminals has doubled capacity for empty containers on site and is working with the shipping community to ensure these are evacuated as soon as possible and in addition is offering its Lilypond depot as a drop off location for empty containers to further decongest the road,” Fletcher stated.
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