- Some of the LHM 500 mobile shore cranes
For improved and better cargo handling experience that will entrench it as first-choice terminal for importers, exporters and shippers in West Africa through quality and attractive service, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, has boosted its operations with new equipment worth over €20 million.
They included five LHM 500 mobile shore cranes, nine reach stackers, 10 terminal tractors, five Nissan pick-up vans and four trailer backs, among other machines.
Commissioning the machines in Lagos Monday, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, said it was delightful that an indigenous company was competing favourably with foreign multinationals in the maritime sector in investment, manpower and quality of service.
According to Usman, who was represented by the Assistant General Manager, Operations, Aisha Ali Ibrahim, “for any port to be efficient, you need not only a number of plants and equipment but also productive and quality ones. Efficiency is about the kind of equipment you have in the terminal.”
For the Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, the new acquisitions were part of strategic investments for quality service and improved patronage.
“With our new internal restructuring project code-named Quantum Leap, SIFAX Group is repositioning to become the first choice terminal not just in Nigeria but in West Africa. We have also set a target that will increase our revenue with over 300 per cent in five years,” Oyinloye said.
“One of the ways we can achieve our set targets is to first begin with investment in equipment, which will complement our excellent personnel asset. These new equipment are the best and latest in town; they will catapult us into the next level growth we are working towards.”
He added: This investment is huge, and the timing is also very significant. We are excited because in the last two years, liners have begun to bring bigger vessels with longer rows. So, most of our older equipment were finding it difficult to deal with those vessels.
“With these additional equipment, we are able to deal with any size and shape of vessel, which is very important. Increasingly, the ease of doing business, vessel turnaround time and cargo dwell time will improve.
“That is why we are not only buying cranes but also handling equipment like reach stackers and terminal tractors. So far, we have committed €20 million and are not stopping; that is why we are not able to say how much these cost, because this is just the first set we are commissioning today.
“What is important is that we will not leave any stone unturned in ensuring our leadership position, and that our customers have a better experience when their cargo pass through Port and Cargo.”
Similarly, the Managing Director, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, Mr. John Jenkins, said the latest equipment were necessary to meet the architecture requirements of modern ship calling the terminal. According to him, the company was already engaging several shipping lines to boost its clientele.
For the Managing Director of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Nigeria, Andrew Lynch, the partnership between both firms will be better forged with these new equipment because they “will enhance the discharge of more cargo volumes at the terminal.”
Also, the Sales Manager (Africa) for Liebherr Group, Norman Herzberg, explained that the LHM 500 mobile shore cranes are the latest technologies, with wider reach into the vessels and capable of discharging faster, effectively and efficiently.