SIFAX Group, a multinational corporation with diverse interests in maritime, aviation, haulage & logistics, oil & gas and hospitality, has disclosed the major reasons for sitting its newly-opened RoRo terminals outside the port environment.
As part of the one-stop-shop vehicle importation service launched by SIFAX Group recently, the company has opened two terminals at Okota, Lagos, where the storage and releasing of the imported vehicles are done. This is a sharp departure from the practise where vehicles are cleared from facilities in and around the port area.
According to Mr. John Jenkins, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, the state of deteriorating roads around the port and need to decongest the port are two of the major factors for taking the terminals away from the port.
He said: “The reason why we made SIFAX terminals at Okota our releasing office was because there is a high demand for dedicated RoRo Off-dock terminal solutions outside the port area. With an increase in import cargo and deteriorating roads, consignees are seeking for better accessibility in the release of their cargo. SIFAX Group Off-dock terminals located at Okota offer this unique logistic advantage, which is highly recognized in Lagos.
“The Off-dock terminals are strategically located along the main roads of Lagos and they are new purpose-built logistics center for handling RoRo products for the Nigerian market. Its geographical position in the center of Lagos industrial zone provides consignees with faster and more cost effective transport solution.”
Jenkins further said that it was necessary to open the new terminals to customers because the ports area is a temporary transit base where cargoes are stored before it is then transferred to an off-dock terminal. He also assured agents and consignees of an innovative, excellent and unparalleled customer service that will make the releasing of vehicles at the terminals a pleasurable experience.
Mr. Saheed Lasisi, General Manager, RoRo Terminals, SIFAX Group, on his own part, noted that both terminals have all the required facilities to meet and exceed expectations of the agents. “At the Okota terminals, we have the presence of the Nigerian Customs Service officers, a billing and manifest office and all other services that can make the releasing of vehicles very convenient. This is because we care a lot about our customers and clients”, he said.
The SIFAX Group vehicle importation service is a partnership involving foremost international shipping agent, Auto Export Shipping (AES) and Hyundai Glovis. Over 1,000 vehicles are expected to be imported into Nigeria from major ports in the United States every month.