As part of efforts to reduce traffic congestion on roads, APM Terminals Apapa and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) have restored rail connectivity for containers to the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) in Apapa.
General Manager, External Affairs of APM Terminals Apapa, Daniel Odibe, said the terminal and the NRC have developed a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which bridges the communication gap and ultimately leads to more efficient cargo evacuation by rail.
Thanking the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), who facilitated the SOP, he said, “This is an important milestone for the port. Having a Standard Operating Procedure for receiving trains into the terminal and servicing them, helps planning, as you have adequate information ahead of time.”
Planned Road Closures
With the closure of a section of the Apapa Bridge for repair works, the resumption of rail services will help reduce a backlog of containers waiting at the port. The Port has recently seen a growth in barging operations with a growing number of containers moved daily by barges from the port.
APM Terminals constructed the Port’s rail line and connected it to the national line in 2013, to provide alternate to road transport for customers. Re-commencing the rail operation will remove trucks from the road and improve environmental standards. Lagos District Manager of NRC, Engr. Jerry Oche, said, “A train is made up of 19 wagons and each of the wagons can take one 40feet or two 20feet containers. So, if we are doing 40feet, that is 19 trucks off the road and if it is 20feet, that is 38 trucks off the road per trip. We are starting with two trips per day and we hope to increase it in no distant time.”
Containers will be discharged at Alagomeji Terminals in Yaba and Ijoko Terminals in Ogun State. Trucks can then be deployed to both locations to collect containers and return empties, which the NRC will convey back to the port.
Re-introducing rail connectivity at the port follows on from the acquisition of two new Mobile Harbour Cranes earlier this year. These were part of an agreed investment of USD80 million (N33.6billion) for the year 2020-2021, bringing the total investment by the company in Apapa since 2006 to USD438million (about N184billion), which is the highest by any private terminal operator in Nigeria.