By Chinedu Eze
In pursuit of its vision to make the Port Harcourt international airport a cargo hub for the South-south region of the country, PrimPort Logistics has renewed its pact with its international counterpart, Fast Forward Freight.
The renewed deal would see both firms improve their service delivery to new and existing clients as they look to retain the momentum of cargo inflow into the international airport despite the low activities in the Oil & Gas sector – the airport’s major clients.
“While we expect to see slightly less cargo traffic to the Port Harcourt international airport owing to the slump in Global oil price, we strongly believe there is a need to visit, interact and assure our clients and partners especially PrimePort Logistics of our continued support in making the airport a cargo hub,” Hans van der Kroon, Board advisory, Fast Forward Freight told journalists in a recent interview in Lagos.
Kroon further explained that while cargo inflow into Nigeria will slightly drop due to high forex rates, his firm remains positive on the country’s market potential.
“Nigeria is our biggest market in Africa and while we understand the current economic downturn might persist for a while, we are certain of a rebound in the near future,” he added
Despite hosting nearly all major oil and gas activities in Nigeria, Port Harcourt, which also has an international airport is still struggling to attract huge cargo volume as some oil and gas firms in the city still opt to route their cargo to Lagos before hauling to Port Harcourt by road, a trend industry watchers say, is diminishing the airport’s captive market status.
According to both firms, while rates to the Port Harcourt international airport might be slightly higher when compared to some destinations such as Lagos, it’s however faster, more efficient and less risky for businesses in the region to send their cargo directly to the Port Harcourt airport.
Narrating the firm’s operations in Nigeria prior to its partnership with Primeport Logistics, Kroon explained that his firm had to route most of its clients including those in the South-South region – cargo through the Lagos airport before hauling by road to Port Harcourt.
This trend, he said however changed once PrimePort Logistics came on board and offered to deliver Door-to-Door freight services for clients within Port Harcourt and its environs.
On his part, the company`s Sales manager for Nigeria, Jordy Hens expressed optimism that the partnership with PrimePort would boost the economy of the state, as the relationship has already yielded over 75,0000 kilos direct traffic into Port Harcourt airport last year alone
Further revealing the firm’s plan to contribute its quota in driving cargo traffic to the international airport, Hens said his firm is looking to bid for the new cargo terminal under construction at the Port Harcourt international airport, adding that the new facility will help the firm speed up its cargo delivery