Freight forwarders operating at Onne Port, Rivers State have commended the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) for significantly improving service delivery that has resulted in reduction in waiting time of ships to zero, leading to reduced vessel turnaround time.
The freight forwarders also commended WACT for its massive investment in cargo handling equipment in response to unprecedented growth in container volume at the port.
This year, WACT has invested $14 million (N5 billion) in the acquisition of sophisticated modern cargo handling equipment including two Mobile Harbour Cranes, 14 specialised terminal trucks and two reach stackers.
The Chairman, Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN), Onne Port, Chief Gabriel Okonkwo, said, “To be very frank with you about WACT operation, there has been substantial increase in import volume and to measure up with that, they have acquired a lot of equipment to ease cargo clearance and we commend them for that because they are doing very well. Every week, they receive between three to four ships. They are keeping up with the demand, they can receive vessels, do loading and drop containers for examination, all at the same time.“
On his part, Chairman, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Onne Port, Chief Emma Nnwamkpa, said, “WACT is operating very well. They brought new equipment over the last six months, so we don’t have any delays in working at the facility.”
Also speaking, Chairman, Flat and Cargo Trailer Drivers Association, Comrade Adolphus Ugwu, said the upgrade and massive investment at the terminal have brought about high level of efficiency at the facility.
According to him, “WACT has improved on their operations seriously. Initially, we used to face occasional delays but now they have been doing well because they have acquired a lot of equipment and that has brought significant improvement in their services. As I am speaking to you now, we don’t have much traffic inside the terminal. They have been loading well and servicing our trucks, so we appreciate the work they are doing and we ask them to keep it up. Presently, cargo volume coming into Onne has seen much increase, but WACT is well positioned to handle it without any issues.
“WACT is working hard with Customs and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to address the issue of longstanding containers that is blocking a lot of slots in the terminal. Once these containers are transferred or auctioned after the Customs CG’s recent visit, then we will see even better service delivery levels.”