West Africa Container Terminal Deepens Operation with $10m Upgrade
Operator of the Onne Oil and Gas Port, Rivers state, West Africa Container Terminal, (WACT), has said it is set to take delivery of two new mobile harbor cranes from Liebherr, as part of an unprecedented $10 million upgrade.
The report says the upgrade will bring its operations at par with its peers in Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, Lagos in terms of equipment and operational efficiency. WACT is considered not just the biggest but also the most efficient container terminal outside Lagos.
The Managing Director of WACT, Mr. Aamir Mirza, while speaking during the commissioning of four new specialized terminal trucks and an empty handler in Onne Friday, said the mobile harbor cranes are expected to arrive Nigeria in July this year. He also said that the acquisition of four additional specialized terminal trucks brings to 10 the number of such trucks acquired by WACT so far this year, with four more expected before the end of the year.
His words, “You will recall that four trucks arrived first in February, then we added two in April, and four have just arrived. This is in line with our plan of investing in container handling equipment to maintain our strong position in East Nigerian market.
“So far we have 10 terminal trucks and four are still coming on the way. We have 12 that we are already using in the past. So with this, we are going to have substantial number of trucks. The trucks are required to support the operations of the mobile harbor cranes because when compared to the current vessel cranes, the mobile harbor cranes operate at a faster rate.
“So already we are bringing them in and when the two cranes arrive in July, we will already have these trucks with us and as soon as those cranes are commissioned, we would have all the required equipment with us for efficient operation.
“We have been investing in getting more equipment to our terminal to make sure that we continue to serve our customers better, deliver their cargo on time in a way that will bring more business to our terminal. We want to assure them that we will continue to fulfill the commitment that we have made in making sure that we continue to serve them better as we progress through the year.”
While thanking the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for their continued support and collaboration, Mirza said that apart from investing in equipment, the company has remained committed to improving communication with its customers on major developments at the terminal.
“We have also added more computers to the clearing agent’s office so that they can download their invoices and complete their documentation before coming to the terminal. It is basically a mutual relationship that we are trying to maintain with all the stakeholders. We are poised to serve them better; listen to them and take steps to improve the level of service and provide them with necessary support so that our business and theirs continue to grow”, he said.
Also speaking on the development, Acting Port Manager of Onne Port, Dr. Agbo Julius, who witnessed the commissioning of the four new specialized terminal trucks and empty handler, said the authority is impressed with WACT for its commitment to operational efficiency and service delivery at the port.
According to him, “WACT have improved on their operation and I want to commend them for that. When we come around here and we see how big the place is with operations going on smoothly with very modern equipment, we keep on moving closer to our goal of being the leading port in Africa. “The commissioning of this equipment is encouraging because it is not the first time WACT is doing this. When we have operational equipment, it means we will improve our efficiency and service delivery, which is the cornerstone of Onne Port. All of us are working together in ensuring that we make Nigerian ports become the leading ports in Africa”, Julius said.
Several other stakeholders, including representative of the Customs Area Controller, Port Harcourt 2 Area Command, Onne, Assistant Comptroller Yahaya Idris; Chairman of Nigerian Port Consultative Council (NPCC), Godwin Ololuka; as well as freight forwarding and truckers associations, who also witnessed the truck commissioning ceremony commended WACT for its continuous investment and raising the bar in the Service Delivery at the Ports.