Shippers’ Council pushes for demurrage suspension over gridlock

  • Managing Director, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Ltd, John Jenkins (left), Lagos Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission, Olusegun Ogungbemide, and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello (right), during the port access road inspection

Reprieve is on the way for shippers as the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) said it would seek the suspension of demurrage and other surcharges on delayed cargo at terminals and unreturned containers.

Importers and freight forwarders have battled in vain over the years to operate within the allowable free period of clearing their cargoes from the terminals and returning the empty containers. Instead, the surcharges have become a permanent feature as the roads got worse by the day.

Declaring the penalties unjustifiable, however, the NSC Executive Secretary, Hassan Bello, said “the terrible condition of the roads has made it impossible for shippers to clear goods from terminals within the three days allowed, as well as return empty containers within four days.

In a statement by the Head of Public Relations, Rakiya Zubairu, Bello explained that “the condition of the roads has resulted in a standstill traffic around the ports, thereby frustrating the ability of the shippers to perform their obligations.”

Bello had, alongside officers of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), visited the Tin Can Island Ports and inspected the access roads to explore the possibility of opening up certain roads for easier movement of trucks through the artery.

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