Managing Director of leading global terminal operator, APM Terminals Apapa Limited, Mr. Dallas Hampton, has described claims that terminal operators impose arbitrary charges on port users as frivolous and “a myth”.
Hampton, who stated this in Lagos last week, said that terminal operators are not responsible for the high cost of doing business at the port as the charges collected by them constitute only two per cent of the cost associated with the logistics chain.
The APM Terminals Apapa boss also called on importers and agents to embrace genuine declaration of their imports and support the Nigeria Customs Service in its drive to reduce the importation of fake and sub-standard goods. He also charged the federal government to impose stiff penalties on importers who flout provisions of the import regime in order to discourage fraudulent practices by importers and their agents. He said the rate of physical examination at the port will reduce if importers improve on their compliance level with government import policy.
Hampton also said that the Apapa Container terminal concessioned to his company seven years ago has been upgraded to a world class facility that can compare with similar facilities in developed countries of the world.
“APMT is not perfect but we have developed a facility that compares with what you have anywhere in the world”, Hampton stated.
He also disclosed that the volume of cargo handled at the terminal which was unimpressive last year has rebounded with 14 percent increase in cargo throughput recorded in the second quarter of the year over the first quarter.
Hampton further disclosed that APM Terminals Apapa is building a first-of-its-kind multi-level racking system for physical inspection of containers at the terminal. He said the facility, which is being constructed in China at a princely sum of USD10 million (about N1.6 billion), will facilitate the process of physical examination of containers at the terminal.
He said the new facility is part of the Phase Three of the modernization and upgrading of APM Terminals Apapa, which includes terminal yard redevelopment and expansion, new staff amenities and customer service building, acquisition of additional container handling equipment, and implementation of new terminal operating systems.
Hampton said his company has more than enough cargo handling equipment. He said APM Terminals Apapa operates with more than 1.5 times the amount of equipment required for a facility the same size elsewhere.
He said no terminal operator in the country can match the expertise and volume of investment of APM Terminals Apapa.
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