By Kenneth Jukpor
Nigeria’s largest container terminal, APM Terminals Apapa has invested USD438 million (about N180 billion) in the upgrade of its facility, acquisition of modern cargo handling equipment and support of seamless service since it won concession of the terminal in 2006.
While the investment is the highest by any port terminal operator in Nigeria, the Terminal Manager of APM Terminals Apapa, Steen Knudsen, maintains that the terminal is on an exciting journey of major transformation to deliver greater, sustainable benefits to the Nigerian economy and society.
Beside the investment in equipment and facility upgrade, APM Terminals Apapa is also investing substantially into continuous development of its workforce.
His words: “Since inception, we have invested around USD438 million purely into the handling equipment we have in the terminal. We have acquired mobile harbour cranes, rubber tyred gantry cranes, reach stackers, forklifts, terminal trucks, empty handlers and invested into yard improvements.
“An equally important investment is the investment into our workforce, ensuring that we continuously develop our staff. This covers trainings, career progression and, of course, expanding the business and creating new jobs.
“At the moment we are also focusing on investing into our facilities: renovating our buildings, upgrading in-gate and out-gate facilities, terminal fencing and lighting. We have equipped the parking area access with a facial recognition system and expanded our terminal fleet with new shuttle buses and pickup trucks.
“Some of our other investments are aimed at simplifying and enhancing trade. For a long time, shipping has been a very manual and paper-heavy process. We are using global best practices to introduce digitalized products, in order to ensure that importers and exporters enjoy a seamless service from the terminal.”
APM Terminals Apapa also recently launched a massive digitization of its operations and services through the deployment of 4G LTE wireless network, and commissioned its Operation Command Centre to enhance quality service delivery.
“We remain committed to deepening our investment in Apapa to enable us handle increasing volumes at the port. Our investments will create capacity to handle growth in the economy to support the Federal Government’s efforts on trade growth and improve service delivery across the logistic chain,” he said.