APM Terminals (APMT) Apapa has introduced a berthing window service, aiming to reduce the waiting time for ships and help consignees take prompt delivery of their consignments at the port.
The first berthing window for the WAF/MWX service (operated by Hapag Lloyd, CMA CGM and Arkas) was launched last week with the arrival of the 4,360 teu CMA CGM LAPIS at the terminal in the Lagos Port Complex.
Richard Smith, chief commercial officer of APMT Apapa, said that the service would enable the allocation of a fixed time period for vessels to berth, discharge, load and sail.
He noted: “The berthing window is a major step towards bringing structure to the berth schedule, cutting waiting time to zero, assisting shipping lines to maintain a regular fixed arrival time, and allowing us to deliver better services to Nigerian importers and exporters.”
Olufunmilayo Olotu, port manager of the Lagos Port Complex, said: “This development means the schedules are sent ahead and there will be no more waiting time. It has been said that shipping is all about time and time is money.
“We want to reduce the number of ships that are kept waiting at anchorage. So for every minute that a vessel is kept waiting, we are talking of global economic implications. Therefore, our duty is to ensure that we reduce the waiting time to the barest minimum, and we are collaborating with APMT to ensure that customers are satisfied.”
Abimbola Kolade, senior manager of operations at Hapag-Lloyd, noted: “This development would bring sanity to vessel schedules. By sanity, I mean we will be able to tell our customers that our vessels would be at the port at a certain date and the cargo would get loaded. With this, we can assure them that their cargo would be delivered to the final destination at a certain time.
“You know when the window is starting, and so you know how to plan your time towards the arrival of your goods. In the overall scheme of things, there is going to be reduced cost for our customers.”
He continued: “What this means for exports is that we can tell customers when their containers will be loaded onto the vessel at Apapa and when the vessel would get to its destination. This will give them the confidence to deal with their customers overseas.”