After operating for a little over 15 months and following a growing customer base as well as increasing demand, SIFAX Shipping ICT Limited, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group and operator of the Ijora Inland Container Terminal, Lagos, has embarked on a massive expansion of the capacity of the terminal.
The terminal, commissioned in October 2020, was established to alleviate the difficulties experienced by various port users, including truckers, shipping lines, agents and consignees, in accessing the Apapa ports due to the congestion within that area that has defied all solutions.
The terminal operates by moving consignments to its facility through barges for onward delivery to customers, thereby avoiding traffic congestion.
According to Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, group executive vice chairman, SIFAX Group, “It sounds so unbelievable that the off dock terminal is just one year old, going by the impact made in such a short period of time. Our stakeholders have been treated to a whole new experience in cargo clearance. Consignments are moved to the terminal through barges without the hassles of traffic congestion. Goods are cleared in record time while the location of the terminal makes it attractive for truckers. All these have increased our patronage and made the initial terminal capacity inadequate to satisfy the increasing demand.”
The terminal has consequently acquired adjoining properties to increase its total capacity from the 15,000 square meters at inception to 83,000 square meters.
In order to ensure that the terminal operates in line with global standards in terms of infrastructure, the company has contracted China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited, a world-class construction company, for the construction of the terminal’s pavement.
Speaking at the contract signing ceremony in Lagos, Paul vd Linden, managing director, SIFAX Shipping ICT Limited, said the strategic nature of the terminal and the need to build a durable infrastructure at the facility necessitated the choice of CCECC.
According to Linden, “CCECC is a notable construction company with a track record of excellent service across the country. Having expanded the size of the terminal, we needed to put the terminal floor in a world-class state and that’s the reason CCECC was contracted. Due to the heavy-duty equipment that have been deployed, a super solid concrete surface that can withstand the pressure became necessary. We are excited with this agreement signed with CCECC and we are convinced they will deliver the project within the agreed.”
He further stated that some of the future plan of the terminal, which has been positioned as a model in terms of technology deployment, modern facilities, excellent customer service and infrastructural development, include the building of a strong quay in readiness to berth feeder vessels, as well as the purchase of more cargo handling equipment and a transit park for trucks using the facility.