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Maersk Infuses $600 Million into Nigeria’s Port Infrastructure, Bolstering Maritime Trade Expansion

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Maersk Infuses $600 Million into Nigeria’s Port Infrastructure, Bolstering Maritime Trade Expansion

A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk) has unveiled a substantial $600 million investment geared towards enhancing Nigeria’s port infrastructure, marking a pivotal step towards fostering additional container shipping services within Nigerian ports. The announcement was made by Robert Maersk Uggla, Chairman of Maersk, during discussions with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Global Collaboration, Growth, and Energy for Development in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on April 28th.

President Tinubu lauded the investment, emphasizing its synergistic alignment with the administration’s ongoing commitment to refurbishing Nigeria’s eastern and western seaports, already earmarked for a $1 billion investment. Furthermore, Tinubu reaffirmed his administration’s unwavering support for port modernization initiatives and the implementation of the national single window project aimed at streamlining port processes through automation.

Read also: Maersk Completes $3.6 Billion Acquisition of LF Logistics

Expressing gratitude for Maersk’s contribution to Nigeria’s economic landscape, Tinubu highlighted the nation’s receptivity to foreign investment, citing Nigeria as a prime destination for lucrative business ventures. He underscored the country’s potential for robust revenue expansion and emphasized the imperative to minimize trans-shipments from larger vessels to smaller ones.

Uggla echoed Tinubu’s sentiments, underscoring Nigeria’s strategic significance in accommodating larger containerships along the West African coast. Recognizing the burgeoning demand for expanded logistics services, particularly in Lagos, Uggla outlined Maersk’s commitment to fortifying port infrastructure and facilitating the seamless operation of larger vessels. He emphasized the immense growth potential inherent in Nigeria’s maritime sector and reiterated Maersk’s steadfast dedication to nurturing mutually beneficial partnerships with Nigerian authorities.

In light of recent developments, the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), operated by APM Terminals (APMT), has inaugurated a state-of-the-art four-lane in-gate facility at Onne Port, Rivers State, Nigeria, further augmenting the region’s maritime infrastructure and paving the way for enhanced trade facilitation. global trade

Peel Ports and Awake.AI Forge Alliance to Elevate Port Operations with AI Solutions

Peel Ports Group has unveiled a strategic collaboration with Awake.AI, signaling a landmark partnership aimed at harnessing AI-based solutions to revolutionize berth planning and prediction processes within port operations.

The alliance is poised to integrate Awake.AI’s cutting-edge technologies into existing systems, fostering seamless sharing of situational awareness data pertaining to port calls among stakeholders. With Awake.AI’s Berth Planning and Prediction solutions at the helm, significant enhancements in port efficiency are anticipated, promising optimized resource utilization, enhanced collaboration, and reduced turnaround times and emissions.

Read also: AI in Supply Chain Management: Revolutionizing the Future of Logistics

By leveraging the power of AI, the partnership endeavors to unlock new levels of operational excellence, setting the stage for sustainable growth and performance improvements. Early feedback from users underscores the positive impact of Awake.AI’s solutions, citing attributes such as user-friendly interfaces, aesthetic appeal, robust quality, security features, and responsiveness.

Georgios Krystallis, Business Improvement Manager at Peel Ports – South East Ports, expressed gratitude to Awake.AI for their invaluable contributions and steadfast dedication. He highlighted the transformative impact of Awake.AI’s innovative solutions in augmenting operational efficiency and driving sustainable progress, acknowledging their pivotal role as esteemed partners in Peel Ports’ journey of advancement.

In a move indicative of Awake.AI’s commitment to technological innovation, the introduction of the Smart Port as a Service platform in 2022 signifies a pivotal step towards enhancing the operational effectiveness of ports through the integration of edge, AI, and 5G technologies. This pioneering initiative underscores Awake.AI’s unwavering commitment to driving digital transformation and ushering in a new era of efficiency and resilience within port ecosystems.



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Port of Baltimore Expands Shipping Access with New Temporary Channel

In the wake of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, the Port of Baltimore has taken a significant step forward by opening a third temporary channel, providing crucial access for vessels amidst ongoing debris removal efforts.

The newly opened channel, situated northeast of the collapsed bridge, serves as a lifeline for “commercially essential vessels” during salvage operations and bridge reconstruction. With dimensions boasting a depth of 20 feet, horizontal clearance of 300 feet, and vertical clearance of 135 feet, this route significantly widens the accessibility for a diverse range of vessels to reach the port.

Coast Guard and Port Captain David O’Connell underscored the importance of this development, emphasizing its capacity to restore approximately 15 percent of the port’s pre-collapse commercial activity.

This initiative follows the opening of the first temporary channel on April 1, soon after the bridge incident in early March. Officials are actively working towards the establishment of a fourth channel by month’s end, aiming to fully restore maritime traffic at the Port of Baltimore.

Meanwhile, efforts to clear debris from the vessel responsible for the bridge collision, the Dali, continue. Despite challenges, workers have successfully removed around 1,300 tonnes of steel using massive cranes. Tragically, the incident has claimed the lives of six roadwork crew members, with recovery efforts ongoing for the remaining two.

The comprehensive debris removal process remains critical, particularly for the safe return of the Dali to the port. As the port navigates these challenges, the opening of the new temporary channel marks a significant milestone in maintaining vital shipping operations amidst ongoing recovery efforts.

solomon island

China Firm Obtains Solomon Islands Port bid, US Monitors Closely

The Solomon Islands has granted a multi-million-dollar contract to a China based company for a project, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), to upgrade an international port in Honiara.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) obtained the contract after submitting the only proposal in a crowded tender, reported Reuters.

The port reconstruction contract is a component of a $170 million ADB-funded project to improve roads and wharves, with CCECC receiving the roads component in 2022.

Mike Qaqara, an official at the Solomons’ infrastructure development ministry, said: “This will be upgrading the old international port in Honiara and two domestic wharves in the provinces.”

According to Reuters, the Solomon Islands government released a statement announcing: “This will see the rehabilitation of the old Honiara international port and construction of the Honiara domestic port and two provincial ports.”

Reuters also reported that the US and its allies – including Australia, New Zealand and Japan – have held concerns over the potential of China establishing a naval base in the region, notably following the security pact Solomon Islands struck with Beijing last year.

READ: US raises concerns over Chinese ‘spy-cranes’ at ports

Samoa’s Prime Minister, Fiam Naomi Mata’afa, told reporters in Australia that “this is a commercial port, although I think the fears are that it might morph into something else… dual purpose.”

She was one of 10 Pacific island leaders who declined to sign a regional security and trade pact with China in June, reported Reuters.

According to Peter Connolly, an expert on China’s Pacific infrastructure projects at the Australian National University, wharves were crucial for the Solomon Islands’ economic growth but they may turn into “dual purpose” facilities that could grant China’s naval access to the area.

Qaqara, however, informed Reuters that the Solomon Islands and China have denied that their security pact would allow a naval base.

Yet, Connolly contested that “it is not about bases it is about access,” while referring to the security pact between Honiara and Beijing.

READ: CEO of Solomon Islands Port Authority joins IAPH board

Delegations from China and the US have been in Honiara this past week vying for influence in the strategically positioned Pacific Island country.

Reuters reported that the Vice Chairman of China’s International Development Cooperation Agency, Tang Wenghong, and Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, met and signed the Global Development Initiative.

Kurt Campbell, the Indo-Pacific coordinator for the US National Security Council, and Sogavare also engaged in a “strategic dialogue,” according to a statement from the US embassy in Honiara.

In November 2022, China accused the US saying it had “no right” to interfere in cautioning against an investment from COSCO Shipping Ports Limited (CSPL) in Hamburger Hafen Und Logistik’s (HHLA) Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) at the Port of Hamburg.

port houston

Port Houston Posts Record Volume in 2022 Nearly 4 million TEUs for the Year

Port Houston recorded its best year yet in 2022. Port Houston container annual volume was up 14%, reaching just shy of 4 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), at 3,974,901 TEUs. This is nearly double the volume posted six years earlier in 2016 and 492,526 TEUs more than in 2021. Total tonnage was up 22% for the year, reaching 55,060,963 short tons, a new record.

The Port had consistent double-digit growth at Bayport and Barbours Cut container terminals from January through November. In December, volumes dipped compared to the record 2021 activity, a softening of demand that mirrors other gateways across the country. A total of 292,027 TEUs were handled at Port Houston during December, a 12% decrease compared to December 2021. Loaded container imports decreased by 16% in December while this was the top December ever for exports, which increased 7% year-over-year.

Steel imports through Port Houston were up 25% in December and 49% for the year. At more than 5 million short tons, it was the highest year for steel import tonnage at Port Houston in more than five years. Steel import products with large increases include line pipe, standard pipe, oil country goods, heavy structural shapes, and wire rods. While down 29% for the month of December, auto import units ended the year 7% up. Bagged goods imports were up 50% as compared to last year.

About Port Houston 

For more than 100 years, The Port has owned and operated the public wharves and terminals along the Houston Ship Channel, including the area’s largest breakbulk facility and two of the most efficient container terminals in the country. Port Houston is the advocate and a strategic leader for the Channel. The Houston Ship Channel complex and its more than 200 public and private terminals, collectively known as the Port of Houston, is the nation’s largest port for waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas, and the U.S. The Port of Houston supports the creation of nearly 1.35 million jobs in Texas and 3.2 million jobs nationwide, and economic activity totaling $339 billion in Texas – 20.6 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product (GDP) – and $801.9 billion in economic impact across the nation.

nuvera shipyard smart pond

Port Tampa Bay Secures Second ‘Smart Pond’ To Further Improve Water Quality, Build on Flood & Climate Resiliency  

‘Smart Pond’ Revealed During American Association of Port Authority POWERS Conference Focusing on Resiliency & Energy Security

With port executives from around the country attending the American Association of Port Authority (AAPA) Port Opportunities with Energy, Resiliency and Sustainability (POWERS) summit at host seaport Port Tampa Bay, National Stormwater Trust, Inc. revealed the recent installation of a second Smart Pond to further strengthen water quality and flood protection near the port and Tampa Bay.

Resilient and sustainable, Smart Ponds allow seaports to protect the environment from untreated stormwater and shield against extreme weather events, while also ensuring that nearly 100 percent of a port’s available land can be dedicated to meeting expansion demands for cargo calling on ports.

Installed at the beginning of January, the second Smart Pond is located near Port Tampa Bay on State Road 676. It joins Port Tampa Bay’s first Smart Pond, installed near the entrance of Port Tampa Bay on South 22nd Street last June. The first Smart Pond quickly demonstrated its value, successfully capturing more than 175,000 cubic feet of stormwater during Hurricane Ian, reducing flooding in neighborhoods and businesses surrounding Port Tampa Bay and preventing this untreated runoff from flowing into Tampa Bay.

The inaugural Smart Pond at Port Tampa Bay was recently awarded an Environmental Stewardship Award from the Florida Recycling Partnership for its protection of untreated stormwater from flowing into Tampa Bay during Hurricane Ian.

Here’s how NST’s Smart Ponds work: They leverage a real-time weather forecasting and automated control system from OptiRTC to lower water levels before a storm arrives. While the sun is still shining, a Smart Pond can drain itself to increase its flood storage capacity. A Smart Pond is also in constant communication with professional stormwater managers and can even be remotely controlled. These innovations result in dramatic improvements to water quality treatment and flood protection performance.

NST Smart Ponds have been installed at Florida Department of Transportation Ponds as part of a multi-year program to improve stormwater management across Florida. NST has also installed Smart Ponds for the award-winning Babcock Ranch, and are in development at JAXPORT, Port Canaveral and The Villages, among other locations.


Providing public and private organizations with unparalleled stormwater infrastructure solutions and improving water quality for the communities we serve.

lekki port

Lekki Port Officially Opened by Nigerian President

Lekki Port has had its official commissioning led by Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.

This took place on 23 January.

The opening of a cutting-edge facility that will spur economic growth and enhance commerce in the area, marking a historic occasion for Nigeria’s maritime industry.

Lekki Port is expected to attract total revenues of $201 billion to the state and federal government through taxes, royalties and duties.

After construction works were completed late last year, the port will feature a variety of facilities including container terminals, roll-on/roll-off terminals, a dry bulk terminal, and liquid berths.

The port is the deepest sea port in Nigeria and is intended to, among other purposes, serve as a major hub for cargo and passenger traffic in West Africa.

Lekki Port was constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) which owns a 52.5 per cent stake in the port.

The project cost approximately $1.6 billion and is the first of its kind in Nigeria.

“We see the opportunity in Nigeria, and believe in its potential,” said Tang Qiaoliang, Chairman, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

READ: Lekki Port receives second ship with handling equipment

Lekki Port is a joint venture enterprise owned by a group of investors led by the Lekki Port Investment Holdings Inc., The Lagos State Government, and the Federal Government.

The seaport is located approximately 65 kilometres to the east of Lagos City and spreads over 90 hectares of land bordered on the south by the Atlantic Ocean.

It is the biggest port in Nigeria, and one of the biggest in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“For us in NPA, this is a dream come true. Lekki Port is the deepest and most modern Sea Port in Nigeria. Economies-of-scale will set in, and the cost of doing business here will be lower than in other Ports,” said Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko.

Koko also mentioned that a neighbouring country is already in discussions with Nigerian ports to use Lekki Port and the equally-new Dala Inland Dry Port as a gateway to that country.


SC Ports Handles nearly 3 Million TEUs in 2022 Infrastructure Investments Support Economic Growth

South Carolina Ports had a record 2022 with the most containers ever handled at the Port of Charleston.

SC Ports moved nearly 2.8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2022, a 1.5% increase over 2021. When accounting for containers of any size, SC Ports moved more than 1.5 million pier containers in 2022, a 1% increase from 2021.

With the resumption of cruises, SC Ports had 261,636 cruise passengers come through the Passenger Terminal last year.

SC Ports moved 199,343 vehicles across the docks of Columbus Street Terminal in 2022, further connecting South Carolina’s automakers with global consumers.

Inland Port Greer and Inland Port Dillon handled a combined 167,147 rail moves in 2022, enabling more companies throughout the Southeast to quickly move goods to and from the port via rail.

Booming business in SC

South Carolina’s economy is booming as companies make big investments to expand operations and open new facilities to take advantage of the state’s strong business climate, excellent workforce, expansive infrastructure network and world-class port.

In 2022, the South Carolina Department of Commerce secured more than $10 billion in total capital investment from companies establishing or expanding operations in South Carolina. This record investment amount represents 120 projects and more than 14,000 announced new jobs.

Many of these economic development wins are port-dependent businesses that rely on SC Ports to import goods for production and export products for overseas consumption.

Strong infrastructure in SC

With great support from the state, SC Ports has invested more than $2 billion into port infrastructure in recent years to support the state’s booming business sector. Combined with port funding and state funding, SC Ports plans to spend an additional $2.5 billion over the next decade.

Investments thus far have yielded modernized container terminals with ample capacity, the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet and a strong rail-served inland port network.

Construction is now underway on SC Ports’ Navy Base Intermodal Facility, a modern cargo yard in North Charleston that will by rail-served by CSX, Norfolk Southern and Palmetto Railways. Creating near-dock rail at the Port of Charleston will make South Carolina more competitive as an import gateway to the United States.

SC Ports is also developing an inner-harbor barge operation to support the Navy Base Intermodal Facility; it will transport cargo between container terminals via water.

The SC Legislature and Governor Henry McMaster allocated $550 million to build the rail yard and barge operation.

Beyond the port, containers need to move fluidly on highways to reach their destinations — whether that may be a rail yard, manufacturing facility, import distribution center, retail store or a resident’s doorstep.

Critical infrastructure investments are happening around the state to support the state’s supply chains. The South Carolina Department of Transportation has significantly increased investments to the state’s transportation network, spending nearly $4 billion in construction contracts in 2022.

About South Carolina Ports Authority
South Carolina Ports Authority, established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer. As an economic development engine for the state, Port operations facilitate 225,000 statewide jobs and generate nearly $63.4 billion in annual economic activity. SC Ports is soon to be home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet. SC Ports is an industry leader in delivering speed-to-market, seamless processes and flexibility to ensure reliable operations, big ship handling, efficient market reach and environmental responsibility. Please visit to learn more about SC Ports.
Yilport Enters African Continent with Takoradi Port Takeover

Yilport Enters African Continent with Takoradi Port Takeover

Global ports and container terminals operator Yilport Holding will manage operations at Takoradi Port in Ghana from April 2023.

Senior representatives from Yilport and Takoradi Port signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Istanbul on 11 January to officialise the takeover.

Under the terms of the MoU, Yilport and Ibis Tek – the port’s operating company – will establish a joint venture company, YILPORT Takoradi Port Management Company, with a 70-30 split respectively.

The project’s aim is to develop the existing container terminal in three phases to reach a capacity of 2.25 million TEU per year.

The port will be the 23rd marine terminal in Yilport’s portfolio, and its first terminal in Africa.

The company is expected to take over operations in the second quarter of 2023.

“Takoradi Port will be Yilport’s first step into the African continent, and it will be a gemstone in our vision to rank among the top 10 global container terminal operators by 2030,” said Robert Yuksel Yildirim, Chairman and CEO of Yilport Holding.

“Takoradi Port has a great potential to serve the African and Atlantic marine trade. We look forward to unlocking that strong potential and grow Takoradi and Ghana internationally.

“We will transfer Yilport’s experience and process excellence methodology to boost efficiency, productivity, while increasing Takoradi’s portfolio of customers.”

READ: Ghana begins construction of $200 million inland marine port

The joint venture company, under the vision and management of Yilport, will also develop multipurpose berths for liquid, bulk, and general cargo operations for about 20 million tons annual handling capacity.

In order to increase handling capacity and avoid traffic congestion, Yilport plans to build new access roads and gate facilities for the Takoradi Port.

The company is planning to invest over $700 million in three phases to build and operate a state-of-the-art port complex.

Yilport will expand the total length of the berths to 2.5 kilometres and deepen the draft between 14 and 16.5 metres.

This new deep-sea terminal will serve the West African corridor cargo in Ghana and Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Yilport’s container terminals handled 3.4 million TEU in the first half of 2022, a massive 36 per cent growth on 2021 figures.

The 3,412,604 TEU handled globally is as a result of new services such as those in Turkey, where Yilport Gebze and Gemlik terminals welcomed new calls from MEDKON Lines, CMA CGM and Maersk.

Port of Felixstowe Becomes First in Europe to Launch Autonomous Trucks Into Ops

Port of Felixstowe Becomes First in Europe to Launch Autonomous Trucks Into Ops

Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe has introduced autonomous terminal tractor units (ATs) into mixed traffic container terminal operations.

The port is believed to be the first in Europe to introduce such equipment.

Manufacturer Westwell has supplied the first two battery-powered trucks to enter service at the UK’s largest container port – which is just exiting months of labour action after dockworkers struck a pay deal with Hutchison Ports.

READ: Hutchison Ports uses autonomous trucks in smart terminal transformation

“These new autonomous trucks represent a significant technological step forward for the Port of Felixstowe,” said Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe.

“The tools underpinning port operations have evolved continuously, and we already have a range of very advanced systems and equipment in place, but this is the first time we will have wholly driverless vehicles.”

The ATs units have built-in safety features which are slated to ensure effective and safe operations at container terminals at the Port of Felixstowe.

The trucks use a digital map loaded to a fleet management system that controls the navigation around the port. The AT then combines that map with its on-board GPS navigation to track its real-time position.

READ: Visy TopView – A New Angle for Terminal Automation

“The ATs use LiDAR – a light sensing technology that creates a 3D map of an AT’s surroundings using a laser and receiver, which, when combined with its on-board 360-degree cameras, provide real-time, all-round ‘vision’,” said Project Director, and Hutchison Ports UK Chief Information Officer, Karen Poulter.

“This enables it to ‘see’ everything instantaneously in its vicinity to allow safe and accurate navigation.

“With the support of Extreme Precise Position (EPP) system, it can achieve positioning accuracy of 2 centimetres and a steering angle accuracy of 0.5 degrees.”

The trucks will be initially used to transport containers between Trinity and North Rail terminals at the port.

In September, PTI sat down with Kuo Ralph Ren, Senior Project Manager, Qolomo Autonomous Driving at Westwell.

Find out more in Part 1 of this In Conversation With series.