Ambassador of the United States of America to Liberia Michael A. McCarthy and a high-level delegation from the US Embassy and USAID visited APM Terminals Liberia on June 9, 2022.
The visit gave the Ambassador the opportunity to see the workings of Liberia’s largest seaport, as well as to receive firsthand updates on macro-economic business development, ongoing improvement initiatives, and the Port Digitization partnership between APM Terminals Liberia and the Liberia Revenue Authority. Likewise, the Ambassador learned about the critical concern of the port channel and dredging requirement.
The delegation then boarded tugboats and participated in the docking of a large clinker vessel to the berth to see in person the marine services provided by APM Terminals Liberia in the Freeport of Monrovia. The challenges associated with the lack of dredging were made visible by the need for specialized maneuvering of the Marine Pilots and the Tug Masters to bring in vessels safely and efficiently.
Commenting on the operations of APM Terminals Liberia and its importance to trade facilitation for the Liberian economy, Ambassador McCarthy stressed the need for continuous collaboration between Liberian government agencies and private concession holders to provide the most efficient operations for Liberian businesses and ultimately consumers.
“The Freeport of Monrovia is critical to Liberia’s future. The United States and Liberia’s other trading partners believe the efficient and transparent operation of the port is vital to Liberia’s future growth and prosperity. We support the efforts by APM Terminals Liberia to fully digitize customs and port processes to help achieve that goal. We are pleased with the progress we have seen with digitization so far, and we expect to see it completed without delay,” Ambassador McCarthy said.
As a multinational port operator with 75 ports globally, and specifical operations in the United States ports of Los Angeles, Newark, Miami, and Mobile, APM Terminals global has a long-lasting relationship with the United States of America dating back decades. That relationship includes the use of a US Guard Coast ISPS program active in nearly all global seaports, including the Freeport of Monrovia, which better facilitates global trade.
The Managing Director of APM Terminals Liberia highlighted the importance of such collaborations, especially regarding the Port Digitization implementation.
“The journey we have embarked on to partner with the Liberia Ministry of Finance, Liberia Revenue Authority, Liberia Custom Brokers Association, Liberia Shipping Line Association, and Liberian Commercial Banks to implement digitization at the Freeport required strong partnerships with a clear vision of benefiting Liberia consumers. The US government has been a strong partner in this direction and is fully on board in supporting the process. We are very pleased to have such an important partner providing such great support to this improvement initiative. And most importantly support to an initiative that will bring such a great benefit to the Liberian business community and to the Liberian population.” Mr. Graham commented.
During the visit, the Ambassador and his team interacted with various management and staff members and received hands-on instructions on how tugboats function and the extreme level of teamwork needed for complex marine operations.
APM Terminals Liberia marine coordinator Sam Jabbah, who led the visit on the tugboat operations, commented “It is great to see the appreciation for the skills and teamwork of the APM Terminals Liberia marine team. The Marine Pilots and crews of the tugboats and pilot boats perform on a daily basis, and it was a real pleasure to show a delegation like this the great work that goes on the Freeport of Monrovia.”
The visit is part of a broader effort by the Ambassador to strengthen the relationship between the United States of America and Liberia, especially in the areas of trade facilitation.