Abiola Seun |
The shipping companies that brought the first container vessel to Calabar port, Hull Blyth has offered more insights into why his company facilitated the first call of a containership to Calabar Port in 15 years.
The Managing Director of Hull Blyth Nigeria Limited, Mr. Christian Holm while addressing members of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating why Warri, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Onne Ports are not being put to maximal use, Mr. Holm said Hull Blyth, which is the shipping agent to Marguisa Lines, owners of the containership, ”MN Boreas”, facilitated the visit of the ship in order to open up trade and businesses activities in the eastern ports.
He said the vessel made its first call to the port on September 22, 2019.
“We are excited about the willingness of Marguisa Lines to invest in the port and in the new service, and all the new opportunities that open up for trade and development in Calabar and beyond, now that the port is connected with a global container liner service,” the Hull Blyth Managing Director said.
Holm, however, identified undeveloped infrastructure, shallow water drafts, poor road infrastructure and insecurity as factors hindering large vessels from calling the ports outside Lagos.
According to him, port complexes outside Lagos “have not been upgraded in accordance with modern seaborne trade”.
“This relates especially to containerized trade, where the requirements for sizeable port container yards and related handling equipment are not met,” he said.
The Hull Blyth Managing Director also said that water depth in rivers to the ports as well as alongside the quays have not been dredged or maintained, thereby giving rise to shallow drafts.
“Road infrastructure to connect the ports with the importers and exporters’ places of business lack maintenance and may often be unmotorable. Delivery and distribution of shipping goods thus become uneconomic or even impossible.
Its main service operates between the ports of Algeciras in Spain and Malabo in Equatorial Guinea, and connects a large network of global and regional ports.
“The port of Malabo will also serve as hub port for the feeder vessel calling at Calabar on regular basis,” Mr. Holm said.
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