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Terminal operator, group strike partnership on barge operations

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In a bid to facilitate cargo delivery, the West Africa Container terminal in Onne, Rivers State, owned by APM Terminals, said it has partnered with Ibeto Group to commence barging operations.

In a statement, the terminal operator disclosed that the partnership had witnessed the reception of the first barge call, marking a significant milestone in the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between WACT and Ibeto Group in the first quarter of this year.

According to the firm, the partnership is aimed at promoting strategic collaboration in barging containers between WACT Onne and the Ibeto terminal in Port Harcourt.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the inaugural barge call in Onne Port, recently, the Chief Executive Officer of APM Terminals, Nigeria, Frederik Klinke, described the development as a significant milestone in the history of WACT.

He said the MOU was the culmination of a process which had been ongoing for a couple of years.

He noted that the group had been working with shipping line partners, “as well as the Ibeto Group to develop a product that enhances the offering that exists in the terminal to enable customers to choose between taking delivery of their containers through trucks or barges, thereby bypassing the sometimes difficult road conditions”.

According to Klinke, as an infrastructure company, the terminal always invests for the long term.

“We are very happy with the partnership we have developed with Ibeto and expect it to be a long-term partnership”, he remarked.

WACT Sales Manager, Chika Umeh described the ceremony as an epoch-making event, stressing that the new product came out of the need to listen to the voice of customers and to expand the footprint of WACT.

“The aim is first to give the customers what they are asking. What they are asking for is proximity to their warehouse and cost efficiency. And the reason we picked Ibeto was because we saw the facility on the ground and saw the APM Terminals spirit in the chairman, the passion and drive”, Umeh stressed.

Also, WACT Operations Manager, Fanick Atchia, stated, “At APM Terminals, our purpose is to improve life for all and to find a way to bring the cargo closer to the customer, to bring the imports, exports, and empty containers closer to the customers”.

The Operations Manager of Ibeto Group, Cyril Obiora, declared that the partnership was borne out of the need to serve the importing and exporting community best.

“It is a ground-breaking partnership, and we are happy to be there. People will now have jobs, as it will be impactful in the community. It is a way of opening the industry in the maritime, shipping, waterways because the inland waterways are very much underused. The road will be safer, and congestion eliminated by using the inland waterways”, he said.

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