Apapa and APM Terminals in brief
Since APM Terminals took over the Apapa Container Terminal in 2006, volumes at the terminal have grown by 10% each year on average. In 2013, throughput was just shy of 650,000 TEU.
APMT has carried out two investment and expansion programmes, which have seen the terminal keep up with growth, eliminate vessel waiting times and improve safety, reefer capacity and facilities in general.
Eliminating waiting times for the vessels allows shipping lines to deploy fewer vessels in their networks. This corresponds to millions of dollars in savings, which translates into better freight rates for Nigerian importers and exports.
Apapa is continuously seeing new shipping lines call the terminal, increasing competition. During the summer of 2014 two new carriers began calling the terminal, introducing more competition to the benefit of importers and exporters alike.
It only takes one look at the bumper-to-bumper trucks inching away from the Apapa Container Terminal in Lagos to understand Nigeria’s ambition to put freight on rail. Swelling volumes of imported goods, primarily in containers, are simply outstripping road capacity, and at a rapid pace.
“After taking over the terminal in 2006, we have made big improvements inside our gates, reducing the waiting time for vessels from up to 30 days to zero. Now we are looking at the infrastructure beyond our gates,” says Andrew Dawes, Managing Director at Apapa Container Terminal.
Every day, hundreds of containers are hitched to trucks in the ports of Lagos and taken into the country. In addition to the congested roads, the different legislation, procedures and processes of the various states create delays, making the 1,000 km between Lagos and Kano in the north roughly a one-week truck journey.
In logistics, where time is money, this lengthy trip translates into cost for importers and exporters.