The management of Lilypond container depot in Ijora, Lagos, says it has lost N500 million in the past one year due to inactivity at the terminal occasioned by low container volume.
The Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa, has experienced a low volume of imports since last year, and container dwell-time at the port has reduced substantially, thus eliminating the need for transfer of containers to off-dock facilities.
Capacity utilizstion at the main port of Apapa container terminal is about 60 per cent at present due to low volume.
Logistics Manager of Lilypond container depot, Tristram Denyer, said that, apart from the concession fee paid to the Federal Government in 2006, the firm has invested N3 billion in the facility.
The sum, according to Denyer, was spent on safety, people, equipment, information technology and better infrastructure.
Operations at Lilypond peaked in 2011 with a record cargo throughput of 47,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs); however, the company said that it does not expect to see a return of this situation in the foreseeable future.
When contacted on the lack of transfer of containers from Apapa to Lilypond, spokesman for APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, said that transfer of containers to inland container depots (ICDs) is no longer feasible because it adds more cost to the logistics chain and to the importer; apart from the low volume being experienced at the port.
“Importers simply do not wish to pay extra – they wish to take direct delivery from the port and reduce their costs. Besides, there is a lot of unused capacity at the port so transfer to any ICD is not on the table,” he said.