ContainersPorts and Logistics

Ships waiting more than a month to offload boxes at Lagos

Extraordinary ongoing delays at ports in and around Lagos in Nigeria are forcing liners to deploy extra ships to the region.

In a note to clients yesterday German carrier Hapag-Lloyd revealed waiting times at APM Terminals’ Apapa facility exceed 30 days while calls to Bollore’s Tincan Island Container Terminal are also experiencing three-week delays.

Severe congestion at the terminals combined with massive traffic on roads leading to the ports have made Lagos a very expensive place to move goods.

A recent study shows loocal transport costs in Lagos are more than seven times higher than in Tema in Ghana and Durban in South Africa, largely thanks to perpetual congestion at the port. Poor access roads and long waiting times at the port’s entrance often cause backups of container-laden trucks stretching 10 km, resulting in traffic jams on the city’s major highways and bridges.

Under pressure executives from APM Terminals Apapa have said they are investing in new equipment, much of which is arriving this month as well earmarking a significant expansion of its container storage yard.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. The truth about the congestion at Bolore’s Tincan Island container Terminal is simply the csse of limited space which has giving room to a lot of corupt practices and extortion thereby compounding the problem.

    The terminal is receiving more containers than it can handle , with the limited space it is operating they receive containers from more than 5 major carriers when their capacity should be 2 or maximum 2 and half.

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