- History, as Largest Vessel to Call Nigeria Berths
The Tin Can Island water channels recently played host to the largest vessel ever to call at any Nigerian port, as the ship berthed at the Lagos terminal of Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group.
The container vessel – MSC SHAULA, owned and operated by MSC Ship Management Hong Kong, the Asian division of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), which is second largest container shipping operator in the world, has an overall length of 275.04 meters and the length between perpendiculars stands at 263.00 meters.
MSC SHAULA, built by the Hyundai Heavy Industries, has a maximum cargo capacity of 4,651 TEUs while its draft and gross tonnage are 13.62 meters and 51,836 GRT respectively.
Speaking on the significance of the vessel, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, John Jenkins, said it was historic but not coincidental that such vessel berthed at the Ports & Cargo terminal.
He said: “We are delighted that history was made with the arrival of this humongous vessel in the Nigerian waters, most especially its berth at our terminal. Ports & Cargo terminal has demonstrated over the years its leadership capability in the country’s maritime industry, particularly in the area of port terminal management coupled with excellent customer service.
“The company has made a huge investment in infrastructure and equipment at the terminal in the last ten years and has also attracted a number of discerning clients, including MSC, the operator of the vessel. What has been the unique selling proposition of the terminal is the quality of service that we provide.”
Speaking on his experience, the captain of the ship, Captain Dinkar, noted that he has received warm welcome from the Ports & Cargo terminal staff as well as other government regulatory agencies like Nigerian Ports Authority, among others. He also expressed his delight at the impressive equipment at the terminal.
The Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, had recently urged the Federal Government to make a good use of the current economic challenges that have seen a sharp decline in crude oil earnings and naira exchange rate by paying more attention to the development sector.
Afolabi said the maritime industry possessed the potentials to rescue the country from the current economic troubles by becoming the primary source of revenue for the government.
He said: “The current economic situation has compelled the need for an inclusive search for an alternative route to national revival and rebirth, forcing upon us a movement away from decades of fixation on the traditional black gold to the maritime–the emerging glittering “blue gold’.