WACT commissions new container freight station at Onne port

WACT commissions new container freight station at Onne port

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APM Terminals’ West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) has achieved a significant milestone with the official commissioning of its new Container Freight Station (CFS) at Onne Port, Rivers State, the company said in a statement released at the weekend.

The new facility brings WACT a step closer to its strategic vision of becoming the ‘gateway to Eastern Nigeria and beyond’, offering a comprehensive suite of logistics solutions to empower Nigerian businesses and further boost efficiency and access.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the new Container Freight Station in Onne Port, Rivers State, last Monday, the Managing Director of WACT, Jeethu Jose, said the facility will act as a central hub for various trade-related activities, including interaction with regulatory authorities and seamlessly connecting businesses in Eastern Nigeria to the global marketplace and vice versa. It will also support streamlined processes for import and export operations and reduce time and cost for customers.

He said expertly crafted solutions at the CFS are designed to expedite the movement of key Nigerian commodities like agro-products and solid minerals, ensuring just-in-time (JIT) service delivery through efficient stuffing and swift transfers to the port.

The new facility, according to him, also offers a reliable warehousing service for both import and export cargo across diverse sectors.

“The CFS will serve as a one-stop-shop where all our customers can consolidate their exports. The facility will aid the Nigerian government’s drive to promote exports and generate forex, which will be beneficial to the country and the economy,” Jose said.

WACT Commercial Manager, Ismaila Badjie, who described the facility as the first of its kind in Onne Port, said, “The Container Freight Station has a lot of benefits to the customer. It is cost-effective and also ensures that there is as little as possible in terms of wasted time. The facility will help the customers with non-oil exports.

This facility will also continue to support and ensure that natural products are available abroad and will directly or indirectly aid in the creation of jobs.”

Also speaking, the Customs Area Controller, Port Harcourt II Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Baba Imam, congratulated WACT for the facility and for its milestone achievements at the port.
Imam said, “By constructing this edifice, we will be able to facilitate trade.

It entails that WACT is transforming and trying to be consistent in the way and manner in which they keep adding value, which is a clear manifestation of the kind of commitment they have in trying to be consistent in the transformation agenda they have. From the perspective of customs, one of the cardinal mandates we have is trade facilitation.”

He assured the terminal operator of continuous support in its drive to enhance service delivery at the port.

The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), which started commercial operation in 2006, 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 gateway to markets outside the Lagos area, and it is a major gateway to East Nigeria.

In 2020, WACT announced a further investment of USD115 million to upgrade the terminal. The upgrade, named Onne Terminal Upgrade Project (OTUP), includes the acquisition of three additional Mobile Harbour Cranes, bringing the total in operation to five: 20 Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes; three Reach Stackers; 13 terminal trucks and trailers; and two container empty handlers.

It also includes the deployment of reefer racks with a 600-plug capacity, as well as the expansion of the current yard, a new workshop, a new terminal auto gate, modernised offices, and state-of-the-art technology.

The final phase of the upgrade is expected to be completed this year.

The CFS commissioning ceremony was attended by many stakeholders, including representatives of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), shipping lines, shippers, and freight forwarders, among many others.

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