Vanguard (Lagos)

17 February 2013

Nigeria: Apapa Terminal Gets Satellite Container System

Port terminal operator, APM Terminals Apapa Limited, has introduced satellite-based container location system capable of ensuring 99.5 per cent accuracy of container location and inventory in the terminal yard to aid prompt service delivery at the port. The equipment includes a satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) for containers, and a multi-level container inspection facility for physical examination of containers by Customs operatives.

The Managing Director of APM Terminals Apapa, Mr. Dallas Hampton, made this knownin Lagos, saying that manual systems cannot achieve more than 90 percent accuracy.

"The GPS system will also enable the use of further technologies such as NAVIS Prime Route and Expert Decking, which are advanced real time IT systems that can improve terminal yard efficiency. These systems combined will enable the terminal to have pedestrian free yards and provide truck service times for delivery in less than 45 minutes on average.

The company is also building N1.6 billion facility for physical inspection of containers by Customs. The facility will utilise a multi-level racking system operated by yard cranes", he said.

He added, "The multi-level facility is designed to reduce the footprint of the current inspection area and enable better use of what is effectively scarce terminal land for holding containers - which is after all the primary purpose of a container terminal yard, as opposed to allocating huge areas of the terminal to Customs inspection.

Nigeria is unique in that, up to 70 per cent of containers undergo Customs inspection in the terminal - most countries in the world do less than 10 per cent at this point. Both the GPS and multi-level racking container inspection systems are parts of the Phase three modernistion and upgrading of the terminals, which is costing the company over $135 million".

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