In its ongoing efforts at improving efficiency and productivity at its facilities, APM Terminals has deployed the public 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) networks at its largest container terminal in West Africa, the APM Terminals Apapa.
The company said the wireless connectivity supports its global initiatives such as standardisation of terminal operating systems, reporting and support, asset digitalisation, and GPS-based position detection systems used for auto-locating containers in a yard.
This will avail the terminal the benefits of the standards-based network as it uses radio equipment to service the terminal’s applications and services, and can be tailored to process very high volumes of data messages with minimal delay, just as the base station allows independence of traffic peaks in the wider network, it noted.
APM Terminals explained that a secure VPN tunnel is used as an encryption mechanism to segregate APM Terminals data from general carrier data to ensure compliance with the company’s global security requirements.
The new 4G LTE connectivity solution, which has already been tested and rolled out at other APM Terminals locations, meets ground-level coverage and performance requirements in the entire yard, with three dedicated sectors for APM Terminals and limited infrastructure deployment at the terminals.
According to the Country Manager, APM Terminals Nigeria, Mr Klaus Laursen, “in recent years, APM Terminals Apapa had embarked on massive digitisation of its operations and services in keeping with APM Terminals’ global transformation drive.
“Our customers can expect greater efficiency and higher productivity with the deployment of the 4G wireless network, as it will allow for better collaboration in our terminal operations.”
Other benefits include improved wireless coverage in the yard for roaming container handling equipment (CHE), elimination of loss of critical Terminal Operating Systems updates, real time tracking of container handling equipment and improved safety for terminal employees.
“An optimised, standardised, cost-effective and security-compliant industrial wireless connectivity solution, the 4G LTE network is scalable to meet future terminal requirements. Ultimately, customers will benefit from improved operations, especially truck turnaround time, terminal efficiency and stability,” Laursen added.
The 4G LTE rollout is coming on the heels of the company’s recent acquisition of new cranes as part of its $80 million investment for the year 2020-2021.
This brings its total investment in Apapa since 2006 to $438 million – the highest by any private terminal operator in Nigeria – and leading to significant improvements in productivity, with zero waiting time for vessel berthing and a doubling of container volume, the company said.