APM Apapa Terminals Limited, Nigeria’s biggest container terminal has said that there is need for importers and their agents to promptly take delivery of their consignments to forestall any build-up, given the substantial increase in the volumes of imported goods.

APMT, the concessionaire in charge of the former Container Terminal at the Lagos Ports Complex, Apapa in a statement signed by its media adviser, Mr. Bolaji Akinola on Monday attributed the rise in cargo volumes to the various lofty policies of the Federal Government ranging from implementation of Ease of Doing Business policy at the ports.

Others include its agriculture promotion policy and the recent closure of the nation’s land borders as part of efforts to check the seeming uncontrolled smuggling of all manners of goods into the country, among several other policies.

The statement however said that there was need for the customers to promptly clear these containers out of the ports, arguing that if they are not cleared by customers soon enough, the increase in volume may result in high yard density, a development that may negatively impact the berthing of other vessels, which may ultimately lead to vessel queues.

This is also given that the company is expecting further increase in cargo throughput at the port ahead of the Christmas and year end celebrations, and therefore appealed to all the relevant stakeholders and the wider port community to ensure timely delivery of their consignments.

The statement reads in part: “We have recently experienced a substantial increase in volume of containers arriving through the seaports. This positive development can be attributed to various positive government policies such as improvement in the implementation of Ease of Doing Business policy, the Agriculture Promotion Policy and closure of land borders to curtail smuggling activities amongst others.

“However, if these containers are not cleared by customers soon enough, this volume increase could lead to high yard density which could impact berthing of vessels resulting in vessel queues. We are anticipating further improvement in throughput ahead of Christmas and year end.

“We therefore urge all the relevant stakeholders and the wider port community to ensure timely delivery of containers in an effective manner without compromising government’s policies and procedures”.

The terminal also expressed its willingness to offer discounts for longstanding containers that are commensurate with the dwell time and therefore urged customers with containers in this category to take advantage of the offer and take delivery of their consignments.

It also commended the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA for operating the Lilypond Truck Transit Park and the Presidential Task Team on decongesting Apapa access roads for their effective implementation of the call-up and traffic management systems respectively that have helped substantially to curtail traffic logjams.

“As for the terminal, we assure the shipping lines and our landside customers, that we are dedicating adequate resources despite the seasonal bad weather, working closely with the port authority, other relevant agencies and stakeholders for improved terminal performance to ensure prompt cargo delivery after release by the Nigeria Customs Service”, the statement also said.