Manager of the APM Terminals Apapa, Steen Knudsen, has linked the construction of a new standard gauge line to a potential boost of the economy, as the infrastructure would provide a cost-efficient means of moving cargo from the port.
Knudsen said once the standard gauge becomes operational, more cargoes would move on rail and also help the terminal’s green agenda.
Speaking during an interactive session with journalists, Knudsen said the rail project is in line with the company’s agenda of making its entire supply chain eco-friendly.
He said while a narrow-gauge railway line connecting Kano is in operation at the terminal, the construction of standard gauge line by the Federal Government would further enhance cargo delivery through the rail.
Knudsen said APM Terminals is a global operator that has deployed international best practices in facilitating trade in Nigeria.
He said the terminal had, in the past, made much effort to incorporate environmentally friendly policies in its operations, such as collaboration with a recycling firm to recycle the terminals’ worn-out tyres into paving tiles.
Knudsen noted that the terminal’s latest environmentally friendly venture is the conversion of single used plastic into reflective coveralls.
Knudsen added that the terminal has continued to introduce new innovations to help both shipping lines and landside customers achieve improved supply chain efficiency and flexibility in a cost-effective manner.
He added that some of the terminals’ investments were also in the area of trade facilitation, noting that it is using global best practices to introduce digitalised products to ensure importers and exporters enjoy a seamless service at the terminal.
Knudsen said a berthing window has also been provided at the terminal for both deep sea vessels as well as barges, to help create more efficient flows of containers, thereby removing costs and wastes from the supply chain.
He said the company has continued to expand its barging traffic to enable it to penetrate both the east and west of the terminal and ensure customers take possession of their cargo in areas that are closer to their warehouses.
“The terminal had, last year, introduced a berthing window service to enable consignees to take prompt delivery of their cargo, by eliminating waiting time for vessels.
“The shipping lines that come in get consistent and cost-efficient service. For the Nigerian importers and exporters, it means our efficiency on the waterfront allows us to be very cost efficient in terms of facilitating their trade into the market. It is also important for the terminal to continuously focus on customer-centricity and to continuously focus on creating a consistent and safe environment,” he said.
Knudsen added that aside from its investment in equipment, the terminal is also investing heavily in manpower.
“An equally important investment is the investment into our workforce, ensuring that we continuously develop our staff mostly in terms of training, career progression and also expanding the business,” he said.