Seni Edu, CEO of Eko Support Services, talks to The Energy Year about how the crisis has impacted the logistics sector, non-traditional strategies the company is considering to reduce logistics costs and its plans to expand the value and scope of the Eko Support Free Zone.
In what ways has the crisis impacted the logistics sector and how has activity resumed?
The supply chain never stops. During the peak of the pandemic, especially when we had lockdowns, the port was open, offering services to offshore clients who were still operating. Most products are imported, so as other areas of the world shut down, the impact was felt. Consequently, many projects were suspended or came to a halt. Many service providers, especially specialist providers, are having difficulty now. As a consequence, we might witness another consolidation of the oil and gas service industry.
During 2020, we saw a lot of bottlenecks in road transportation because of congestion from infrastructure deficits and there were major challenges in terms of who was responsible for what. Normally it is NPA [Nigerian Ports Authority] that handles the entrance and exit from the port itself but once the new Presidential Covid task force was introduced, we needed their green light as well. ……read more
What non-traditional strategies are you looking into to reduce logistics costs?
In Nigeria, the cost of logistics in the total price of a product is around 25%. We are looking at alternatives to reduce this cost. To this end, we are trying to create a system that is disruptive to the traditional model, one that is able to deliver more services with less space as it is all about optimising the space you have. Traditionally you rent space and equipment and the IOCs, for example, rent their own dedicated warehouse and space, which takes up around 100,000 square metres.
What we propose is different. Rather than giving a client X number of square metres, we have to push as much cargo as possible through a certain amount of space. We need them to give us as much data as possible. ……read more
What is your strongest service and project line at present?
Our most consistent business this year has been the services to the shipping lines, and more specifically those for empty containers. The logistics on the oil and gas supply chain are also ongoing but will thrive with the picking up of the sector again in 2021. When it comes to projects as such, our supply base for FPSOs has been ongoing. They have asked us to assist with an even wider scope of business in this space due to the fact that many of their suppliers have been and are struggling with the last-mile logistics.
What client-centric and collaborative approach do you take?
The same way this industry is cyclical, with its ups and downs, one’s clients also go through difficult times. It is then that you need to go the extra mile, trying to help them find solutions and save on costs. We do a lot in the area of logistics planning that is not our responsibility, but it assists us too. Their problems can impact us in terms of vessel stock, for example.
Hence, it is not only about today but more about tomorrow – it is about creating loyalty among one’s clients. If you want to be here for the long run, you have to think long-term. At the end of the day, logistics is about finding solutions to the problems you or your clients might face.
Collaboration is also important……read more
Go to the website of “The Energy Year” to read the full interview.
Also to see Seni answer the following questions: In what ways are you looking to expand the value and scope of the Eko Support Free Zone? & How are you delving into the container-moving business?
Read the full Interview: https://theenergyyear.com/articles/in-nigeria-a-disruptive-model-of-logistics/?cn-reloaded=1