Business Hilights
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APM Terminals raises bar, introduces refrigerated truck transport to end spoilages

Leading port terminal concessionaire, APM Terminals, in conjunction with Naija Pride has developed a panacea to end high wastage of export-bound agro products with the introduction of modern cold chain transportation alternatives for farmers. The innovation came with special assistance of international development groups.

Business Hilights gathered that an estimated 15 million metric tons of Nigerian-grown perishable goods, including onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, okra, ginger and carrots, are lost annually due to poor logistics infrastructure and high transportation costs through spoilage and product damage.

According to the Managing Director of APM Terminals Apapa, Martin Jacob, “Ongoing investments by APM Terminals in cold chain transportation is demonstrating ways to reduce post-harvest losses, and extend the shelf life of fresh produce to local consumption and export”.

“New investment in cold chain infrastructure will clearly be an important growth driver for the Nigerian economy. We, along with our partners, aim to offer our landside customers both the service and expertise necessary to protect perishables for domestic markets and open new international market opportunities through Nigerian ports.

He said “As much as half of Nigeria’s domestic tomato crop of 1.8 million metric tons does not get to market due to spoilage or damage during transportation while packed in traditional woven raffia baskets and moved by conventional trucking. On December 1st, the first trial shipment of 18.6 metric tons of fresh tomatoes, packed into 933 crates each containing 20 kg, were loaded into a refrigerated container for the 1,045 km (650 mile) trip from Dutsen Wai, in Nigeria’s Kaduna State, to Lagos.

“In the controlled reefer environment, heat spoilage, as well as bruising damage from cargo shifting during transport was eliminated – and the entire truckload arrived intact and ready for sale or further transport.

It was gathered also that APM Terminals partnered with Naija Pride for the tomato shipment, in cooperation with US-based TechnoServe, an international non-profit that promotes business solutions in 29 countries. Naija Pride is owned by Emmanuel Ijewere, the vice Chairman of the Nigerian Agribusiness Group (NABG) which is co-chaired by Sani Dangote, Dangote Group’s Vice chairman.