By John Iwori
The increase in cargo and vessel traffic into Nigerian ports following the port reforms initiated by the Federal Government during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration has continued as new shipping lines keep coming to the country for trade.
Since the conclusion of the port reform exercise in 2006, Nigerian ports has continued to witness a steady increase in cargo throughput and vessel traffic as more ships are now berthing in the nation’s seaports, particularly the ones situated in Lagos and Onne, Rivers State.
The latest entry into the nation’s seaport is the operator of the fourth largest container vessel fleet in the world, Evergreen Line.
The shipping line made its debut into Nigeria with its vessel called Yellow Sea, on June 17, 2012. The vessel made its maiden voyage to Nigeria and berthed at Africa’s largest container terminal (ACT), Apapa Quay presently managed by APM Terminals Limited, a subsidiary of Danish logistics and ship operations giant, AP Moller-Maersk Group.
The vessel was laden with over 1,000 containers containing sundry items.
Evergreen Line, owned by Evergreen Marine Corporation, is represented in Nigeria by Hull Blyth Nigeria Limited as its shipping agent.
Managing Director of Hull Blyth Nigeria Limited, Mr. Christian Holm, said that Evergreen Line ships will make regular calls at Nigerian ports and boost Nigeria’s aspiration for economic development.
Holm said the company decision to link the world to West Africa followed the launch of its new service with four ships, each with a 3,000 TEU capacity, in a joint service with UASC and Hanjin.
“Nigeria will be given priority as one of the major routes along the corridor of West Africa. Our aim is to open up several opportunities for businesses along the corridor,” Holm said.
He said the vessel would be engaged in a four week round trip that would allow importers and exporters to enjoy a weekly service that offers a new alternative to the growing African market.
The firm operates the fourth largest container fleet in the world, with more than 180 ships with capacity of approximately 650,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU).
It has been in the forefront of international trade and the transportation industry.
Hull Blyth is one of West Africa’s best known and established shipping agencies. It has been operating for the past 160 years.