Determined to deepen efficient cargo handling operation at the Onne Port, Rivers State, the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) commissioned 16 brand new terminal trucks.
This move according to the company is a step further towards realising its vision of becoming the gateway to East Nigeria and beyond, adding that the additional container handling equipment will further improve the already quick turnaround time for vessels calling WACT.
Frederik Klinke, Country Managing Director of APM Terminals Nigeria said with the acquisition and commissioning of the new terminal trucks, WACT now boasts of 36 terminal trucks deployed into its operations.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the new trucks recently, Klinke commended WACT for acquiring and deploying the new trucks.
“This is truly an amazing story in a terminal that has essentially renewed itself on an existing ground, and now stands as a fully modern and fully equipped terminal. These trucks will enhance the capacity of WACT and enable it to handle more volume,” Klinke said.
Naved Zafar, managing director of WACT said the trucks were acquired as part of a fresh investment of USD112 million by APM Terminals to upgrade and expand the terminal.
“This brand new fleet is part of our ongoing Onne terminal upgrade; an expansion project as you all know, which has been going strong since last two years. We are coming closer to complete the major part of that expansion project,” he said.
The upgrade, according to him, includes the acquisition of Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs), Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes, empty handlers, terminal trucks and forklifts. It also includes the deployment of reefer racks with a 600-plug capacity, as well as expansion of the current yard, new workshop and a new terminal gate complex.
Zafar said the acquisition and commissioning of the new terminal trucks is a clear manifestation of APM Terminal’s commitment to the country and an indication of the role WACT is playing in the trade and economic development of Nigeria.
Also speaking, Bola Imam, Customs Area Controller, Port Harcourt Area 2 Command, who was represented at the event by Acho Ojike, Deputy Comptroller, while acknowledging WACT’s commitment to trade facilitation and revenue generation said, “WACT’s operations have supported the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) immensely in generating revenue and meeting their targets.
“NCS is all about the revenue collection but this cannot be achieved without WACT. WACT has shown wonderful commitment towards this course, and we remain thankful to them,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Stanley Magaji Yitnoe, the Port Manager of Onne Port, also commended WACT for acquiring the new trucks, which he said would aid efficiency, improve productivity and ensure quick turnaround of vessels at the port in line with the Federal Government’s policy on the Ease of Doing Business.
WACT, which is owned and operated by APM Terminals, started commercial operation in 2006. It is the first Greenfield container terminal in Nigeria to be built under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. The terminal is located within the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne Port, Rivers State. Over the years, it has grown to become the most efficient integrator to markets outside the Lagos area and is a major gateway to East Nigeria.