MV Maritime Challenger at the  Ports & Cargo Terminal, Apapa Lagos

Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited has boosted its general cargo handling component, as it handles the maiden call of a brand new vessel, MV Maritime Challenger, at the terminal.

Port & Cargo, the concessionaire in charge of Terminal C of the Tin Can Island Ports Complex, Lagos, is a subsidiary of SIFAX Group, a diversified multinational group with interest in maritime, aviation, oil and gas and the hospitality industry.

Managing Director of the SIFAX Group Mr. John Jenkins, who led the management team that officially received the vessel, said that the brand new bulk carrier, which made her first ever voyage to any port in the world and sailed from Singapore, is owned and operated by the IMC Shipping, China, a leading dry bulk shipping service provider. IMC has more than half a decade experience plying international waters and with major trading routes in the Asia-Pacific that serves markets in South America and Africa, focusing on major and minor bulk cargoes.

He also disclosed that the vessel, which has installed capacity of about 39,744 metric tonnes of cargo, in its first call to Ports & Cargo terminal, brought both major and minor bulk cargoes.

It was gathered that some of the items she brought include chemicals (pure ammonium nitrate), fluid transport tank, fibre ceiling, pulp wood, coils, pallets, tractors and trucks, seamless pie and hot rolled sheets, construction equipment and materials, wheel loader, sodium sulphate, among several others.

“The need to put the terminal and its facilities to full use and increase the company’s revenue base are the main reasons for the company’s renewed interest in the general cargo business”, the Group Managing Director said while speaking on the significance of the calling of the vessel at the terminal.

He said: “We are delighted that history has been made again at our terminal with the arrival of this brand new vessel that embarked on its first ever voyage to any port. The voyage was from Asia to the Nigerian waters, and ends with its berth at our terminal. Ports & Cargo terminal has demonstrated over the years its leadership capability in the country’s maritime industry, particularly in the area of efficient port terminal management coupled with excellent customer service.

“The company has made a huge investment in infrastructure and equipment at the terminal in the last ten years and has therefore attracted a number of discerning clients, including IMC, the operator of the vessel. What has been the unique selling proposition of the terminal is the quality of service that we provide.

“While we have concentrated heavily on the container business over the years, the terminal is actually a multi-purpose one that can conveniently handle other kinds of vessels. It is with this belief in our ability and opportunities that our unique terminal provides that we have decided to also develop the general cargo/bulk side of our business. This new line is a testimony of our commitment to excel in this business.”

Meanwhile, General Manager, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, Mr. Mustapha Mohammed, while speaking at the event, assured IMC Shipping and other prospective clients of the readiness of the company to provide excellent terminal operations that would exceed their expectations.

The captain of the ship, Captain Tang Jiang Tao, while speaking on his experience in the course of the voyage and arrival in Nigeria, noted that he has received warm welcome from the Ports & Cargo terminal staff as well as other government regulatory agencies like Nigerian Ports Authority, among others.

He also expressed his delight at the impressive equipment at the terminal.

“We are delighted to take this ship on its first voyage from Asia to Nigeria and I must say that we are very impressed by what Ports & Cargo has offered us in terms of competent hands and quality service delivery. My crew and I will be happy to call the terminal again”, the captain also assured.