Cargo evacuation by rail from port terminals would resume soon, particularly at the APM Terminals, the biggest container terminal in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council disclosed in a statement on Sunday that the effort targets operational efficiency, and to encourage multimodal approach to cargo evacuation especially within this COVID-19 pandemic period.
The Council said the decision was reached recently while it was on a working visit to APM Terminal, and had to broker a meeting between Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and the terminal on rail evacuation of cargo which was temporarily suspended.
The Council said “The meeting was successful as both parties pledged to abide with the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) already established. NSC will closely monitor developments.”
The Council’s management used the opportunity to visit the commercial offices of the APM Terminal in company of the Port Health officials to observe compliance with health and safety protocols issued by the authorities.
The freight forwarders were briefed on the importance of adhering to the protocols for staying healthy in this season of COVID-19 while demonstrating proper ways to practice social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face masks.
In related development, President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Chief Uche Increase, announced to freight forwarders and other port users that the free bus services provided by the Shippers’ Council and the CRFFN continued Monday.
His memo reads that “The prevailing arrangements on the bus schedule covering the respective routes remain and operating periods are 8 am and 5 pm daily for the week.”
He, however, warned that only those with genuine businesses at the Ports would have access with proof of identity and evidence of purpose for going to the port.
The beneficiaries are advised to abide by the subsisting rules and avoid acts that may suggest abuse of the opportunity.