Barge Operations in Nigeria: What You Need To Know

“The line between disorder and order lies in logistics” Sun Tzu.

There is a need for sustainable mobility of goods because logistics plays a major role in determining economic growth, but why won’t a hungry man die of hunger if it’s always taking forever before the delivery man get his food to him? Don’t get yourself confused, I’m only talking about the problem encountered when transporting goods. Delays!

There has been a lot of challenges with the transportation of goods and these include congestion on the road which leads to delays, havocs caused by containers falling off trucks and claiming lives etc. All these led to the introduction of barge in Nigeria.

A barge is a shoal- draft flat bottomed boat, built mainly for the river and canal transportation of bulky goods.

Barge reduces the traffic congestions and it is seamless to use. The Barge Hub Terminal could be an economically and environmentally sustainable way to respond to increasing growth of hinterland transport as the following benefits of this network are envisaged: 

More efficient performance of marine terminals:

  • a higher crane/quay productivity, because the average productivity of handling containers in large call sizes is higher;
  • a better utilisation of space at marine terminals as the dwell time of containers at marine terminals can be reduced if the barge hub terminal can also facilitate a storage function for (empty) containers.

Performance improvement of barge hinterland operations:

  • improvement of the hinterland vessel turnaround time (higher productivity), because of a reduction of the number of calls in the port;
  • improvement of the cost and reliability performance of barge hinterland services.

Improvement of Port Accessibility to and from the hinterland:

  • A barge hub terminal may also act as an ‘extended gate’ for container trucks operating in long-distance hinterland transport. By dropping and picking up their containers at the barge hub terminal instead of visiting the marine terminals trucker may avoid road congestion that particularly occurs in the port terminal areas. Hence they also increase their productivity.

Sustainable environmental and social benefits:

  • In its role as ‘extended gate’ for container trucks the barge hub network can contribute to a reduction of traffic congestion in the port and at roads to the marine terminals;
  • lower truck fuel consumption;
  • air quality improvement (exchange of road kilometres for barge kilometres)

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