Container shipping operations from China to Onitsha port resume

Activities resumed at the Onitsha Inland Port on Tuesday with the first containers arriving for offloading from China via Onne Port in Port Harcourt.

Global shipping line, Maersk is the first to begin shipping operations from China directly to Onitsha without having to stop by at the Apapa Port in Lagos.

Shipping schedules made available on the company’s website show that the transit time for each shipment is between 53 and 54 days.

A breakdown shows that the vessel first arrives at the Onne Port and then departs in badges for the Clarion terminal in Onitsha.

Tolu Ogunlesi, the special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on digital and new media, also confirmed the development.

“Maersk is now (starting 2020) sending container ships direct from China to the Onne Port, without the need to first call at Lagos,” he tweeted.

“Now, when the ship berths in Onne, it will be offloaded and the containers going to Onitsha Port will be barged down.”

Meanwhile, Some entrepreneurs in the south east said they have been using the port since April, importing goods without using the Apapa port.

According to them, it costs the same to ship to Lagos or Onne ports but the process is faster because custom officials inspect the cargo and it is released the same day.

There has been a gridlock at the Apapa port in Lagos that has been made imports and exports difficult.

Transportation of containers from Lagos to the East has been a very expensive process for Nigerian businesses based in the region due to poor transport infrastructure starting from the Apapa congestion to extortion from security operatives. 

This would reduce the costs for the South East-based businessmen as they would only have to pay mainly shipping costs from China.

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