The Onne Port in Rivers State operations is being currently affected by inadequate berthing space.
An extensive campaign by the Nigerian Ports Authority rallying more vessels to beckon at the eastern ports has prompted vessel traffic to Onne, Rivers and Calabar ports to increase, bringing with it the challenge of space.
One of the major terminals at Onne, West African Container Terminal had witnessed some boost in traffic over the past few months and was said to be battling space constraint.
In July, WACT spent N3.6bn on purchase of equipment and upgrade of facilities around the port.
The terminal has berth length of up to 570 meters and is capable of receiving 4,500 Twenty-Equivalent Unit containers. But the terminal has only three berths which have lately become too small to sustain an increased volume of vessel traffic.
The National President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Increase Uche, said, “When these vessels get to the anchorage in Port Harcourt, before they are allowed to access the berth, it takes up to three weeks and a month. This is because of the number of berths. The number of berths available is few.
“At WACT today, they have only three berths. And when they have up to 10 vessels waiting, they would have to queue until the one that enters discharges and comes out. Another thing is the political will of the government. If the government had before now heeded the call for a deep seaport, all these challenges would have become a thing of the past.”