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APM Terminals Liberia gives rice imports an additional lift

The speed and safety of distributing Liberia’s staple food has been given a major boost with the introduction of new lifting equipment and more efficient processes at APM Terminals Monrovia.

This month APM Terminals Monrovia invested in a 20-tonne spreader designed to lift up to six jumbo bags at a time. Lifting 7.5 metric tons at a time is a significant leap from the previous volume of 2.5 metric tons per lift, improving turnaround time for customers.

Priority Gate Service

In response to increasing local demand, the terminal has modernised its offloading processes to facilitate faster turnaround. This is a further demonstration of the terminal’s ‘people first’ policies by prioritising much-needed food imports. It also comes just months after the port launched a Priority Gate service for imports of rice, which speeds up the distribution of the grain.

Acting Minister of State and Liberian government representatives were invited to a demonstration of the new equipment and method. General Cargo Business Partner, Christian Bodio Freeman, together with technical and operational teams, supervised the successful roll out of the new process.

Reducing cost burden

He said: “In our drive to ensure efficiency, safety and customer satisfaction, I am super-excited that our new rice discharge mode will ensure our staple, rice, is handled safely, at the same time as we improve vessel turnaround in our terminal.

“In this way, we are significantly reducing the cost burden to both importers and consumers, the Liberian people,” he said.

Rice importer Mr. Abdul Aziz Ezzeddine, Operations Manager of Supply West Africa Trade (SWAT) who has been doing business at the Port shared his thoughts on this development.

“It is exciting to see APM Terminals Liberia beef up its equipment to be able to offload rice vessels at a faster turnaround rate. Of course, that brings relief to us as importers because it allows us to get our goods safer and faster onto the market,” said Mr. Ezzeddine.

As well as increasing productivity, and improving safety processes, the new cargo operations will provide more employment for Liberians at the port by creating jobs for Stevedores.

Annual rice throughput volume increased by 3% in 2022 compared to 2021, underscoring the importance of the major food item.