Recent Developments at the Apapa Ports
It is no news that the congestion at the Ports located at Apapa, Lagos (The Lagos Port Complex and Tin Can Island Port) has been an ongoing challenge for businesses involved in importation and exportation. Asides from the gridlock on the port access roads, several other challenges include the delay in scanning and physical examination, duplicated charges and charges not tied to services, cargo dwell time, lengthy port procedures, block-stacking of containers, amongst others. The ripple effects have resulted in the high cost of doing business.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman; in a recent interactive session, stated that seven (7) trailer parks have been set up in the environs of the Apapa and Tin-can Island ports to accommodate trucks and trucks found around the ports corridor in Lagos from February 27, 2021, will be impounded.
A technology application is being developed by the NPA; it is an electronic call-up system that organises port bound trucks from their originating points to approved truck parks, then to a pre-gate from where they are programmed on a first-come-first-served basis to access the ports. This application would be released on February 27, 2021. This is a welcome development as technology improves the efficiency of processes. According to Hadiza, the application would remove human intervention in the process of calling up trucks.
In addition, Hadiza explained that all trucks going into the ports must be parked in the designated area and will be called electronically when the cargo is ready to be picked up. We believe that the issue of port congestion would soon be a tale of the past and operations at the ports would soon be carried out seamlessly.
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