By Kenneth Jukpor
In a bid to ensure that export processes are seamless and expeditious, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and AP Moller Terminal (APMT) Nigeria have identified avenues to ease export processes at the seaports.
Both organizations made the move when the new Country Manager for APMT Nigeria, Mr. Klaus Laursen paid a courtesy visit to Shippers’ Council headquarters, this week.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello while receiveing Mr. Klaus Laursen, suggested that export cargo should not attract storage charges and should be accelerated through the terminals.
While commending APMT for its acquisition of new cargo handling equipments, Bello stressed the need to facilitate export as an alternative to reposition the nation’s economy.
According to Bello, the current economic realities indicate that exports are priority and must be treated as such by terminals and other operators at the ports.
The Shippers’ Council boss also expressed concern about the congestion at the AP Moller Terminal.
He informed the APMT Country Manager of Council’s resolve to ensure that all terminals’ processes are fully automated and integrated with other port service providers’ and user’s before the year runs out.
Also speaking on strategies to facilitate export cargoes, Laursen said exporters and their freight agents need to have all their documentation including customs clearance before accessing the terminal to have an expeditious process.
Laursen, however, posited that the congestion at the terminal is due to freight forwarders not coming to clear their containers.
According to him, this has contributed in no small way to the backlog of ships on Nigeria’s territorial waters.
Meanwhile, he revealed that APMT has been able to reduce yard occupancy from 98 percent to 77 percent.
Laursen also said APMT had plans to optimize haulage at its terminal by implementing an electronic platform for truck management, noting that deliberations on this automated process are ongoing with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
He added that the terminal issues, Terminal Delivery Orders online, payments, invoicing and a range of other services are also online so freight forwarders don’t need to be physically present at their terminal.
He suggested that the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has to advertise its services in order to increase patronage in rail haulage.
Hassan Bello aleo commended APMT’s collaboration with Nigerian Railway Corporation and barge operators in cargo delivery and evacuation, via the railway and waterways.