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WACT to commence Phase 2 Upgrade to meet growing volumes

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WACT to commence Phase 2 Upgrade to meet growing volumes. Image: APM Terminals
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The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) is quickly earning a reputation as the gateway to Eastern Nigeria and a strong alternative to ports in Lagos. Investment in the Phase 2 upgrade, due to commence within the next 18 months, will help meet volumes, which have grown consistently over the past three years.

“The Phase 2 upgrade includes the acquisition of three additional Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs) bringing the total in operation to five; 20 Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes (RTGs); three Reach Stackers; 13 terminal trucks and trailers and an empty container handler,” explained WACT’s Commercial Manager, Noah Sheriff.

“The upgrade will also include the installation of reefer racks with a 600-plug capacity, as well as a 13-hectare expansion and of our current yard, paving, a new workshop and a new terminal gate complex.”

The terminal is forecasting additional volume growth, as a growing number of shipping lines, importers and exporters develop confidence in WACT’s ability to handle their cargo. “Investment in Phase 2 will ensure that we are well prepared to handle this additional business in the future,” says Sheriff. “It will increase productivity and improve reliability of cargo delivery, whilst reducing port stays and vessel idle time. Together this will lead to greater customer satisfaction.”

High operational efficiency

In 2019, WACT spent USD14 million to acquire equipment including two Mobile Harbour Cranes, 14 specialized terminal trucks and two reach stackers. This first phase of investment last year resulted in high operational efficiency and set WACT apart from other ports in East Nigeria.

“Our vision is to make WACT the best performing container terminal in West Africa. We believe this vision can be achieved through active collaboration with the Government to reduce the security challenges faced by vessels in our waters, and improved road connectivity,” states WACT’s Managing Director, Aamir Mirza.

Gearless vessel handling

Since December 2019, WACT has been handling gearless vessels, which previously could only be handled at ports in Lagos. Several stakeholders have commended WACT for being proactive and for its long-term commitment to the Nigerian economy.

Talking frankly about WACT’s performance, Chief Gabriel Okonkwo, Chairman of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN), Onne Port, said, “There has been a substantial increase in import volume and to measure up with that, they have acquired a lot of equipment to ease cargo clearance and we commend them for that because they are doing very well. They are keeping up with the demand, they can receive vessels, load and drop containers for examination, all at the same time.“

Container Terminal

APM Terminals Mobile completes phase-three expansion to increase capacity

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APM Terminals Mobile completes phase-three expansion to increase capacity. Image: APM Terminals
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Alabama’s seaport modernization program continues to complete important milestones to meet shipper demand and accommodate larger vessels.  The Alabama Port Authority completed its 400-foot container dock extension at the APM Terminals Mobile facility on 20 March, and three days later, the terminal for the first time simultaneously handled two container ships at the newly expanded berth.

The berth extension now enables two x 8,000-10,000 TEU be safely and easily handled simultaneously. The quay extension was part of a $50 million Phase 3 expansion that increased terminal capacity and productivity at the 10-year old APM Terminals Mobile intermodal container complex at the Port of Mobile.

The BELITA with a length overall of 1,096 feet (334.1m) and the COSCO SANTOS with a length overall of 856 feet (261.1m) utilized about 2100 feet of berth on the newly finished quay.  With weekly Post-Panamax container ship calls at the APM Terminals-operated facility, the Port Authority quickly invested to remove possible vessel berth conflicts at the terminal. The dock enhancement project also beefed up the mooring and fender systems to accommodate Super Post-Panamax vessels. The terminal is already equipped with two (2) Super Post-Panamax and two (2) Post-Panamax ship-to-shore gantry cranes to service the larger container class vessels already calling the port.

Prior $450 million investment

The APM Terminals Mobile Phase 3 modernization project complements prior investments by the Alabama State Port Authority and APM Terminals totaling $450 million in marine and rail container intermodal terminals. Investments to date will soon be enhanced by the recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued permit and receipt of full federal and state funding to take the Mobile Harbor to -50 feet draft by 2024.  Construction on the channel and harbor improvements is expected to begin later this year.

“We continue to seek out and implement innovation and world class infrastructure to meet the needs of our carriers and shippers,” said Jimmy Lyons, director and chief executive officer for the Alabama State Port Authority.  “We’re very pleased with both carrier and shipper confidence in our program as they continue to introduce larger ships, add capacity and increase volumes through the Port.”

Flexibility to service vessels arriving outside of schedule

Brian Harold, Managing Director of APM Terminals Mobile said, “We are very excited to complete this project which allows us to offer a significant increase in berthing windows to our customers. This expansion also enables us to offer improved capabilities to quickly service vessels that may arrive ahead-of, or behind schedule.”

The new dock is also capable of housing more cranes – which allows more cranes to be added in the future. Other recent improvements include an expanded outbound gate (from four to six lanes) and an expanded Intermodal Rail Facility (by ten acres).

Across the street from the terminal, a nearly 300,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse facility, is being built by MCT Logistics and is aimed for completion later this year.

APM Terminals Mobile currently has four direct all-water weekly services from Asia, calling various Ports in China and Southeast Asia; three of them make direct calls in Busan as well. The facility handled 419,316 TEU in 2019.  “Jimmy Lyons and the Alabama State Port Authority have been a great partner in growing the container volumes in the Port of Mobile.

Since the opening of the container terminal in 2008 we have consistently worked together on short and long-term commercial efforts, as well as the strategic development plans of the facility,” added Mr. Harold.

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Container Terminal

RSGT expanded facility in Jeddah started operations today and earmarks $1.7 billion for further expansion & renovation

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RSGT expanded facility in Jeddah started operations today and earmarks $1.7 billion for further expansion & renovation. Image: RSGT
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Red Sea Gate Terminal (RSGT) has significantly expanded its operational capabilities and capacity at Jeddah Islamic Port. Today marks the official commencement of RSGT’s take-over of operations in the northern section of Jeddah Islamic Port (previously known as North Container Terminal, or “NCT”). A new 30-year concession agreement for the existing north port facility concluded at the end of last year between RSGT and the Saudi Arabian Ports Authority, (Mawani), calls for $1.7 billion of investment in infrastructure, equipment and technology by 2050, with annual container throughput capacity growing to 8 million TEUs.

“As we begin operations at the northern part of Jeddah Islamic Port today, we are very proud to commemorate this tremendous milestone of the RSGT growth strategy, demonstrating our ongoing and long-standing commitment to expansion, modernization, and world-class terminal services,” stated RSGT CEO Jens O. Floe.

By 2023, the expanded RSGT, covering an area of 1.5 million square meters, will have increased annual container throughput capacity to 5.2 million TEUs. Already able to accommodate Ultra-Large Container Ships (ULCS) of 20,000 TEU class and above, at the end of the first three-year phase of investment, RSGT will be equipped with 24 Super Post-Panamax quay cranes, 67 Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs), and will offer 4,900 Reefer plugs.

“This carefully planned program of growth and investment will firmly establish RSGT as the largest logistics gateway, and the busiest container terminal, in Saudi Arabia, and on the Red Sea,” said Mr. Floe.

Red Sea Gate Terminal has already signed an Islamic financing agreement with Banque Saudi Fransi and Al Rajhi Bank for the project.

“We are looking forward to executing this outstanding project and thank the Government of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The Ministry of Transportation and Mawani for their foresight and trust in our ability to continue to bring excellence to the trade” stated RSGT CEO Jens O. Floe

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Container Terminal

Port of La Spezia: a systemic offer of integrated storage and logistics solutions

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Port of La Spezia: a systemic offer of integrated storage and logistics solutions. Image: CONTSHIP ITALIA S.P.A
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Starting from 25th March 2020, the North Tyrrhenian port system is faced with the challenge of managing thousands of TEUs coming into Northern Italy that cannot be delivered to companies now running in “non-essential” business mode for at least two weeks.

It takes four weeks for ships from Asia to reach ports of the North Tyrrhenian Sea. Ports will now have to temporarily store a significant quantity of containers until the Government is able to relax its decree issued 22 March that closed all “non-essential” businesses due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus emergency.

To avoid heavy port storage costs and congestion risks within the terminal as well as transport activities, the port-community (Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea, Terminals of the Port of La Spezia, Association of Shippers of the Port of La Spezia, Customs Association of the Port of La Spezia and Maritime Agents and Consignees of the Port of La Spezia) together with Tarros Group and Contship Italia Group have rallied together to offer a number of solutions including the availability of 100,000  TEU storage capacity including local facilities within a radius of 15km from the port of La Spezia as well as the intermodal-hubs in Melzo (Milan), Dinazzano (Reggio Emilia) and Padua.

For cargo receivers, short-haul solutions will be available at Interporto di Santo Stefano Magra/La Spezia that include customs clearance, temporary storage, VAT storage and potentially a handling service for palletized loads, thanks to the local operators who have shared storage space and covered warehouses, as well as the customs officers who continue to work diligently at the Port of La Spezia.

Further similar solutions will be available in the intermodal centers operated by Contship Italia Group, the parent company that manages La Spezia Container Terminal.

Each week, three services from Asia call at the Port of La Spezia deploying containerships with a capacity of more than 14,000 TEUs, operated by 2M, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance. Factory production in China is recovering, albeit slowly and are now shipping the back-log of orders which built up during the lock-down imposed in January and February, by the Chinese government.

Customers of the Port of La Spezia will, therefore, have a several integrated solutions available during this challenging time, with the possibility of providing regular suppliers more storage options and services in tune with current market needs.

The Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea welcomes this strong collaboration initiative to support the vital economic activities in northern and central Italy. These solutions will minimize the economic impact and avoid further sacrifices due to the slowdown in production and orders caused by the virus emergency. Many analysts currently estimate the pandemic could have a double-digit impact on many industrial supply-chains.

“The port of La Spezia once again demonstrates its unity with regard to the market” said Carla Roncallo, President of Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea. “By putting itself into customers shoes and identifying short- and medium-term solutions that can minimize the financial impact and allow the port to maintain a level of operations. This arrangement also provides us the flexibility and agility to resume operations when there are signs of recovery, which we hope will come soon”.

Alessandro Laghezza, President of Sistema Porto and the Logistics Section of Confindustria La Spezia, affirmed the effort made to coordinate such a comprehensive and dynamic solution.  “It is encouraging to witness this historic moment where shippers in our territory and the management of the Contship Group rallied together in just 24 hours to assess every possible storage and transportation solution available in the short and medium-range, to support port customers who now face another big blow to their businesses due to the suspension of receiving and industrial activities”.

“Contship and its operating companies are able to step-up and respond to this call. We are committed to offering all our capabilities and operational resources to help wherever possible the customers and local operators of the port of La Spezia. They will be able to access our integrated intermodal solutions that we believe are the mark of the unique offering of Contship Italia Group” said Daniele Testi,  Contship Italia Group Director of Marketing and Communications.

 

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