Biggest Vessel Arrives Nigeria
The international shipping community is facing a major labour crisis, with sailors stranded on ships or at home because of visa and flight restrictions, maritime groups said.
With crew changes down by 75 per cent, a humanitarian crisis is also developing, with sailors suffering mental health problems, fatigue and accidents from being trapped for months at a time on ships.
For a 10,000 TEU (Twenty Equivalent Units) vessel to berth at the Nigerian port, when world economies are being ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, sign of confidence in the nation’s economy.
This was the submission of stakeholders, Country Manager, APM Terminals Nigeria, Klaus Laursen, who received the largest containership at the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), Onne Port, in Rivers State.
The huge ship named, Maersk Stadelhorn, with an overall length of 300 metres and beam of 48.2 metres, has capacity to carry about 10,000 TEU (of containers. Before now, the regular containerships calling at Nigerian ports are those in the class of WAFMAX with a maximum capacity of 4,500 TEU.
Laursen said: “The significance of this development is that even the ports in Lagos will now have to try and catch up with the new standards set by WACT. It is also important to mention that this is happening at this critical time when economies of the world are facing a lot of challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a mark of confidence in the Nigerian economy.
“We are saying that in spite of COVID-19, the Nigerian economy is strong, and will continue to be buoyant. The COVID-19 challenges are temporary, and the economy will certainly record positive growth in the nearest future,” he said.
He applauded the Nigerian Ports Authority for the feat, saying: “We are excited at this historic achievement. We thank the Nigerian Ports Authority for dredging the channels and for professionally piloting the vessel to the port. Without the effort, support and approval of NPA, this would not have been possible.”
Source: The Guardian, Nigeria