AIM Bonded Terminal Woo Importers, Exporters with One-Stop-Shop Facility At Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

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Advance International Merchant (AIM) Bonded Terminal, Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

By DAPO OLAWUNI

Advance International Merchant Limited, operators of the AIM Bonded Terminal along Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Shagamu are located on a sprawling 100 acres of land while providing sustainable logistics solutions for import and export business in Nigeria.

AIM Bonded Terminal with 5,000TEU capacity

The facility which is licensed by the Nigeria Customs Service, commenced operations in 2016 is a One-Stop-Shop that provides end-to-end services for all importation, exportation, warehousing, trucking and other logistics businesses.

Suffices to say that AIM facility has been licensed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as an Export Processing Terminal (EPT) where all export containers coming from the hinterland can be accommodated, sorted and moved straight to the ports by barge.

The Terminal and Warehouse charges are competitive with guaranteed Zero % delay on the transfer of containers and cargo to its terminal, coupled with 100% customer satisfaction.

With its bonded terminal, AIM services is able to offer predictive input costs for customers raw materials or equipment enabling controlled budgeting for imported items.

The company have displayed a high sense of responsibility and the ability to handle several thousands of containers through consistent shipping, customs documentation, release, trucking, stacking, control, stocking, and delivery to owners.

Chief Executive Officer of the
Advance International Merchant Limited, Mr Cyprian Nwakwo on Tuesday took journalists on a tour of the facility to behold the wonder of investments that has taken place inside the expanse facility since 2016.

First timers visiting the facility would easily notice the 200 trucks capacity staging area with a well paved facility where trucks stay before moving into the facility to transact. Upon entry, the facility is navigable with standard concrete roads.
With all of these, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Nwakwo said that only 30 percent of the 100 acres of land has been developed.

Speaking with journalists, he said “What we do here basically is to deliver services effectively, we move containers from the port to this terminal, we clear it, we have customs officers resident here and other port agencies including NAFDAC, we clear the cargo here and we deliver it to the customer.

AIM export processing terminal with 3,000TEUS

“Basically, we select our customers and this means that we are very conscious of the rules and requirements of the Nigeria Customs Service, we make sure that our name is critical to the survival of our business, so, we choose the kind of business and kind of customers we want to work with.

“We work with multinationals, and some big Nigerian companies. We try to deliver effective service to ensure that production becomes a continuum, you can close the gap in your cost, you can know exactly what you are going to spend from the beginning to the end.

“Sometimes, at the port, you are not able to determine how much its going to cost you to clear your consignments, but here we give you a predetermined cost, so with that, you would be able to pattern your production and put your cost adequately. Our facility is reliable, we move end to end, we have our own trucks and drivers.

CAPACITY AND TURNOVER

The Bonded terminal has capacity to handle 5,000TEUs while the export terminal yard has capacity for 3,000TEUs. In terms of turnover, on imports, we do between 100 to 200 containers per month, as for export cargoes, we do about 500 to 1,000 containers per month.

200 trucks capacity staging area

CONTAINER MOVEMENT

We move our containers by barge from Ikorodu, Kirikiri and other places, from there, our trucks would move it here. We have 65 units of trucks, and they are used mainly for our business, we don’t do trucking for third parties. From here, our export containers go straight to the Barge, and to the port. The time is actually short, it takes four days because of documentation.

We have already keyed into the new arrangement of the Lekki Port, we cannot miss that kind of opportunity, it is the latest lady in town, if you look at the equipment, the size and how it stands out from congestion, of course you cannot fail to key into the prospects. You must make sure that you key into whatever that is new coming into the sector.
The Lekki port is just taking off with full operations and we have keyed into the prospect.
Currently, we are renting our barges through third parties to move our containers.

Truck fabrication yard

EXPORT CARGOES

We have been licensed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to operate and EPT (Export Processing Terminal) trucks come in here, we seal it and move it to the port effortlessly through the same barging process. Most of the products here are agro products, Soya Beans, Sesame seeds, Ginger among others.

HANDLING EQUIPMENT

Equipment is the bedrock of Bonded Terminal operations, we make sure that we have adequate equipment operating here, we have two brand new equipments that we just acquired, this complements the two existing ones, so we have four equipments in the terminal.

Export warehouse

COLLABORATION WITH AGENCIES

You cannot operate a facility like this without the cooperation of government agencies, they are all here, Customs presence is here, NAFDAC and other agencies to ensure that the proper clearing process takes effect.
They have been very cooperating, when NPA came for inspection here, they quickly issued us the license for EPT knowing fully well that we are ready to handle the export process.

CHALLENGES

Our major challenges for now is the cost of diesel to fuel our trucks, right now the diesel has gone up to N1,500 per litre and this is incredible, when you relate it to the cost of doing business, it means that people would have to pay more, and this would have multiplier effect on goods and services we provide and other people provides. Eventually, it would metamorphose into higher food cost for the common man, and this means that all of us would share from whatever difficulty that this business brings.

POWER SUPPLY

When we moved here in 2013, we arranged with government to give us electricity, and we had our own diesel generator to support. But when we saw that this wasn’t working, tried to go independent. We are lucky to have the natural gas pipeline passing through our facility, so we took the opportunity, and right now, we are running on natural gas generators and we are fully independent in terms of our electricity. This is more cost effective for us, we don’t need the electricity to be going off and on, and in the process damage our equipment.

Cashew nuts being processed for exportation

CARGO CLEARING OPERATIONS

We have some clearing agents working here, sometimes the importers can insist that their agent should handle the clearance. But we have our own clearing agency, we deliver an end to end services.

YEAR OF COMMENCEMENT OF OPERATIONS

We moved into this premises in 2013, we got our license in 2015 and we started operation in 2016.
We have more than 200 staff working here.
Logistics is a linkage, you must have where to warehouse cargoes, so here, we have warehouses which we gave out to third parties, and most of the clients we have here are huge exporters and importers, we tapped the opportunity to create an environment for them here.

TRUCK FABRICATION YARD

The AIM Terminal also has a truck fabrication yard which is used for its personal use. Even it has capacity to handle commercial quality, it is currently producing truck bodies for its personal business use.

A weigh bridge

WEIGH BRIDGE

The facility also has a weigh bridge where the size of all cargoes and trucks coming into and going out of the facility are determined.

COLD ROOM FOR PERISHABLE RAW MATERIALS

The AIM Terminal also prides itself with a multi billion Naira cold room where raw perishable materials could be held and preserved until customers take their delivery.

ACCOMMODATION FOR DRIVERS AND GUEST HOUSE SENIOR STAFF

The facility also provides accommodation for truck drivers who are unable to leave the facility on same day of arrival. It also has a three storey edifice as guest house where all Senior Staff of the company are residing.

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