How Maersk executed a coordinated logistics plan to ensure timely delivery of raw material goods to a manufacturing unit in a remote corner of Nigeria.
Engee PET Manufacturing Company Nigeria is a leading manufacturer of high-quality food-grade PET resin in West Africa. The company’s factory, located at lgbesa in Nigeria’s Ogun State, was commissioned in 2017 as part of a backward area development programme. The plant has a production capacity of around 150,000 tons per annum.
In 2021, the company needed to transport resin products of nearly 250 twenty-foot equivalents (TEUs) from Jiaxing, China, to its factory in Igbesa, Nigeria.
Once the cargo arrives at the Apapa port in Nigeria, it is imperative that customs clearance and inland trucking to the factory are swift. Any hold-ups would lead to delays in production and a consequent loss of business to the competition. In an intensely competitive market, any fall in market share would be difficult to regain.
Engee had initially engaged a third-party agent to process their customs applications. However, the agent was unfamiliar with the documentation involved for fast-track licences, and this led to delays and increased overheads. Moreover, the company faced considerable difficulty in retrieving money deposited with the agent as a security fee.
Another challenge the company faced was the transport of cargo within Nigeria. The goods were trucked from the Apapa port to a boat jetty, where barges would move the cargo across the River Ore to a dock on its banks. From there, trucks would transport the cargo to the destination, the factory in Igbesa.
To ensure an uninterrupted journey, the customer would need a partner adept at handling multi-modal logistics. A single capable partner with the right solutions could coordinate better and ensure timely deliveries.
Engee also needed a partner who could provide transit insurance since the roads leading to the factory were in bad shape, increasing the risk of damage to goods. The safety of the goods was of prime importance.
When contacted, our local team quickly drew up a list of pain points.
- Lack of visibility on the location and status of cargo
- Extra costs arising from demurrage and detention at the port
- The possibility of a plant shutdown due to shipment delays
Once the challenges were identified, we proposed a solution to handle all transport requirements from start to finish.
To address the lack of visibility, the Maersk team provided regular updates to the customer on the location of the cargo. The team also acted as a single point of contact for any support the customer required.
Our team of in-house experts handled the customs documentation. The submission was done on the Nigeria customs portal, and the entire process was completed without any hitches or delays.
After customs clearance, the shipment was taken to an Integrated Container Depot (ICD). Storage of the cargo here, instead of at the port, helped avoid detention and demurrage charges. Maersk was also able to leverage its relationship with the ICD to get the customer a waiver on storage charges.
For the transport requirement, which was more complex, the local team designed a tailor-made solution.
- We deployed multiple barges to circumvent the traditional land route that was congested and dotted with potholes.
- We moved 10-12 containerised trucks a day from the jetty to the warehouse at Igbesa.
Both customs clearance and inland transport were achieved in 14 days — 50% faster than the normal delivery timelines of 25 to 35 days. Our strategy of bundling customs services with inland transport solutions ensured the cargo moved seamlessly and reached its destination ahead of time.
Meticulous coordination between the execution, vendor management and leadership teams helped achieve the requirements of the customer, who was happy with the speed and care with which the operation was carried out.
Impressed with the success of the collaboration with Maersk, Engee has awarded us business of approximately 130 TEUs. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with Engee.