Following increased vessel traffic experienced at eastern ports due to the recent diversion of cargoes due to the Apapa gridlock in Lagos port, the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), has launched two new Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs) worth $10million (N3.6billion) for discharge of cargoes at the terminal.

The Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs), which is coming on the heels of 10 new specialised terminal trucks and two new reach stackers, are expected to increase the turnaround time of vessels at the terminal.

The two new container cargoes handling facilities would bring WACT, one of the most efficient container terminals outside Lagos, at par with its peers in Apapa, and Tin Can Island Ports, in terms of equipment and operational efficiency.

Speaking at the commissioning, in Onne, Rivers State, the Managing Director, WACT, Aamir Mirza, said the massive investment at the terminal has attracted 700 direct and 2000 indirect employment in the country.

He said the company has recorded tremendous growth of 17 per cent in 2017, 21 per cent growth in 2018 and 20 per cent growth attained so far this year. Mizra described the $10 million investment as a key enabler to customers’ satisfaction.

“Our vision is to make WACT the best performing container terminal in West Africa. We believe this vision can be realised early enough if the government can support us to reduce the challenges of security by ensuring the safety of vessels on our waters, and improve road connectivity, among others,” he said.

Mirza said the cranes would enable volume growth resulting in increased productivity; reduced port stay and provide bunker savings; improve reliability in cargo delivery times; reduce the impact of crane breakdown/idle time on overall terminal operations; and increase customers satisfaction and speedy delivery.

Also speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, said the new cranes will aid efficiency and improve vessels turn around time at the terminal. He reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to encourage more importers to patronise Onne Port, adding that government is determined to see shipping make significant contributions to the economy.

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