Despite the prevailing traffic congestion around the Lagos ports with its attendant consequences for businesses, the inland container depots owned by SIFAX Group recorded a total of 49,835 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in 2020 financial year.
This represents a marginal drop in performance compared to 2019 when the off docks grossed 50,452 TEUs. SIFAX off dock operations comprise terminals at Trinity, Mid-Maritime, Okota 1 and 2, all based in Lagos.
Of the total container volumes achieved, SIFAX Off Dock Trinity had 13,109 TEUs for containers gated-in and 12,468 TEUs for containers gated-out as against 19,014 gated in and 20,369 gated-out in 2019. SIFAX-Mid Maritime Terminal witnessed an increase in its 2020 TEU volume. It recorded 6,062 TEUs and 6,517 TEUs for containers gated in and out respectively as against 2,609 TEUs and 1,727 TEUs recorded in 2019.
SIFAX Off Dock, Okota Terminal 1, recorded 2,195 and 2,147 TEUs for gated in and gated out containers in 2020 as against 3,096 and 3,137 TEUs recorded in 2019 while SIFAX Off Dock- Okota Terminal 2’s 2020 performance shows an increase 3,596 and 3,351 for containers gated in and out in comparison to its 2019 performance of 364 TEUs gated in and 136 TEUs gated out in 2019. In order to grow the terminals profitability in 2021, Captain Ibraheem Olugbade, Executive Director, SIFAX Off Dock, confirmed various strategies have been put in place by the terminals to consolidate their prime positions.
He said: “In order to mitigate the effect of the road construction on SIFAX Mid-Maritime, we have begun dredging the waterside of the terminal and erecting exit security gate in preparation for berthing of barges at the terminal.
“In addition, the off docks at Okota, Lagos are also receiving boxes at the terminals through transfer by barges. Parts of the terminal floor have been renovated and strengthened to cope with more volumes. There have been several market drives with several shipping lines to take advantage of the new initiative and proximity to the major express road; and to also use as holding bays for their empties in line NPA call-up system regime.
“SBT Trinity terminal is temporarily closed due to the ongoing road construction along the Mile 2-Apapa expressway, which we expect to be fully operational on completion of the road in the next couple of weeks”
In the interim, Olugbade said the consignments stemmed for the Trinity terminal are transferred to Ijora Container and Okota bonded terminals for a seamless and efficient cargo clearing process. He also said that the necessary facilities have been provided at the two terminals to cope with the expected surge in business.