As commercial operation gathered momentum at the Lekki Deep Seaport, the Lekki Freeport Terminal said four commercial vessels have so far berthed and discharged cargoes successfully at the port.
Chief commercial officer, LFT, Kehinde Olubi-Neye, disclosed that the port has been receiving import volumes and export of empty containers since commercial operation started.
According to him, though the import volumes are still low, there are hope of commercial operation picking up fully in few days to come.
“We have been having volumes of import discharges, we have been having export of empty containers and we will start exporting fully laden export containers in no near future. The volume is low at this point and it takes a while for this things to materialise.
“Vessels are already on services as at today and most shipping lines run weekly service and their booking plans they have commitment towards delivering cargoes to specific ports as seen on their bill of laden and it takes time for that to switch,” he said.
He further disclosed that over $100million has been invested in cargo and terminal handling equipment.
Olubi-Neye, said the Port has the needed equipment and the draft to recover transship cargo bound for landlocked neighbouring countries back into the country.
“The Lekki Freeport Terminal has discussed with stakeholders including Nigeria Customs Service and that they are confident that recovering transshipment cargo not just for the hinterland but also for landlocked countries and other regional countries will be back in the country,” he said.
However, he said the port has also seen the opportunity to play a role in the uptake of cargo in the Eastern Ports, which is why they are currently having discussions on moving containers discharged at Lekki Port by barge to the Eastern Ports of Calabar, Warri, and Onitsha River Port among others to help increase the economy of those ports.
On cargo evacuation from the port, he added that the Lekki Port operates an automated system that is linked to the automated gate with the vehicle booking system where truck drivers are required to book appointments in advance.