- Planning Manager, APM Terminals Apapa, Riyaz Melekolangath (left), Captain of CMA CGM LAPIS, Aly Ghari, Commercial Manager, APM Terminals Apapa, Temilade Ogunniyi, and Deputy Operations Manager, Ogechi Obinna Uzoma, onboard the vessel at the launch of APM Terminals Apapa’s Berthing Window service in Lagos
By Anthony Nwachukwu
Towards a more efficient and cost-effective container handling service, APM Terminals Apapa has launched a berthing window initiative that uses structured scheduling for berthing, discharging, loading and sailing to reduce ship waiting time and enable prompt delivery of consignments at the port.
First of its kind in Nigeria, the berthing window for the WAF/MWX service (operated by Hapag Lloyd, CMA-CGM & Arkas) was launched with the arrival of the 4,360 TEU CMA CGM LAPIS at the APM Terminal in the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief Commercial Officer, Richard Smith, disclosed that the new berthing window was another major milestone in enhancing service delivery and improving customer experience, as it would enable the allocation of a fixed time period for vessels to berth, discharge, load and sail.
According to Smith, who was represented by the Commercial Manager, Temilade Ogunniyi, “the berthing window is a major step towards bringing structure to the berth schedule, cutting waiting time to zero, assisting shipping lines to maintain a regular fixed arrival time, and allowing us to deliver better services to Nigerian importers and exporters.”
On her part, the Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex, Olufunmilayo Olotu, commended APM Terminals for the new initiative, which is set to boost service delivery and eliminate ship waiting time.
“This development means that the schedules are sent ahead and there will be no more waiting time,” she noted. “We are placing premium on professionalism and professionalism means aligning with international best practices, one of which we are witnessing today.
“It has been said that shipping is all about time, and time is money. We want to reduce the number of ships that are kept waiting at anchorage. So, for every minute that a vessel is kept waiting, we are talking of global economic implications.
“Therefore, our duty is to ensure that we reduce the waiting time to the barest minimum, and we are collaborating with APM Terminals to ensure that customers are satisfied.”
Similarly, the Hapag-Lloyd Senior Manager, Operations, Abimbola Kolade, commended APM Terminals for the development, stating that it “would bring sanity to vessel schedules.
“By sanity, I mean we will be able to tell our customers that our vessels would be at the port at a certain date and the cargo would get loaded. With this, we can assure them that their cargo would be delivered to the final destination at a certain time.
“You know when the window is starting, and so you know how to plan your time towards the arrival of your goods. In the overall scheme of things, there is going to be reduced cost for our customers.
“What this means for export is that we can tell customers when their containers will be loaded onto the vessel at Apapa and when the vessel would get to its destination. This will give them the confidence to deal with their customers overseas.”
APM Terminals is the largest container terminal in West Africa. With an investment of about $438 million (approximately N219 billion), the terminal has continued to introduce new innovations to help both shipping lines and landside customers achieve improved supply chain efficiency, flexibility and dependability in a cost-effective manner.