- Terminal Manager, Steen Knudsen
By Anthony Nwachukwu
Nigeria’s leading seaport terminal operator, APM Terminals Apapa, said it has ploughed $438 million (about N311billion) into container-handling equipment, facilities and general terminal upgrade in the past 16 years.
The Terminal Manager, Steen Knudsen, told newsmen in Lagos that the company equally introduced new innovations to ensure eco-friendly environment, improved and cost-effective supply chain efficiency and flexibility for shipping lines and landside customers, in line with global international best practices in trade facilitation.
Knudsen commended the Federal Government for the new standard gauge being linked to the Apapa Port, which he described as a key support to the economy as a cost-efficient means of moving cargo from the port.
According to him, it aligns with the company’s agenda of eco-friendly supply chain, and “while a narrow gauge line connecting to Kano is in operation at the terminal, construction of the new standard gauge 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.”
He disclosed that the terminal has made several efforts to incorporate environmentally friendly policies in its operations, including its recent collaboration with Freee Recycle Limited to recycle worn-out tyres into paving tiles, and in another side, the conversion of single used plastic into reflective coveralls.
On trade facilitation, Knudsen stated that the company uses global best practices to introduce digitalised products to ensure that importers and exporters enjoy seamless service at the terminal.
“A berthing window has also been provided at the terminal for both deep sea vessels and barges to help create more efficient flow of containers, thereby removing costs and waste from the supply chain,” he said.
“In addition, 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.”
As a world-class facility, Knudsen said that visiting shipping lines get consistent and cost-efficient service, while for the Nigerian importers and exporters, “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 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 to ensure that they have long-term employment with us; they can develop themselves and can go home safely at the end of the day.”
He added: “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.”