Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge crucial to our green agenda-APM Terminals Apapa
Terminal Manager, APM Terminals Apapa, Steen Knudsen, has said the construction of the new standard gauge line by the Federal Government is key to supporting the Nigerian economy as it would provide a cost-efficient means of moving cargo inland from the port.
He noted that this would boost the company’s agenda of making its entire supply chain eco-friendly, by using the synergies of moving more cargo in one go.
Speaking on Tuesday during an interactive session with journalists, Knudsen said APM Terminals is a global terminal operator that has deployed international best practices in facilitating trade in Nigeria.
“While a narrow-gauge railway line connecting to Kano is in operation at the terminal, the construction of the new standard gauge line by the Federal Government will further enhance the delivery of cargo through the rail.
“Once the Standard Gauge becomes operational, we are hopeful that a lot more cargo will move on the rail which will also help our green agenda because moving cargo on rail is much more environmentally friendly than by trucks,” Knudsen said.
The terminal in the past year had made much effort to incorporate environmentally friendly policies in its operations. A few months ago, it had collaborated with Freee Recycle Limited, to recycle the terminals’ worn-out tyres into paving tiles. Its latest environmentally friendly venture is the conversion of single used plastic into reflective coveralls.
Knudsen added that some of the terminals’ investments were also in the area of trade facilitation.
He said, “We are using global best practices to introduce digitalized products to ensure that importers and exporters enjoy a seamless service at the terminal.
“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 waste from the supply chain.
“In addition to that, we continue to expand our barging traffic so we can also penetrate the areas both east and west of the terminal and ensure that our customers can 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 take prompt delivery of their cargo, by eliminating waiting time for vessels.
Describing the terminal as a world class facility, Knudsen said, “Just to dwell a little bit on world-class services: what does that mean? It means the shipping lines that come in get a 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.
“For our employees, being a world-class facility means we are the preferred employer; that we continuously offer the best facilities and safe operations so they can ensure that they have long-term employment with us; they can develop themselves and that they can go home safely at the end of the day.”
He added that aside its investment in equipment, APM Terminals Apapa is also investing heavily in its people.
“An equally important investment is the investment into our workforce, into our colleagues, ensuring that we continuously develop our staff mostly in terms of training, career progression and of course also in terms of expanding the business,” Knudsen said.
Located within the Lagos Port Complex Apapa, APM Terminals is the largest container terminal in Nigeria. With an investment of over USD438 million in equipment, facilities and other elements of its operations over the past 16 years, 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.