Freight forwarders and key stakeholders in the shipping industry under the aegis of Concerned Freight Forwarders and Transporters have frowned on the rising demurrage charges and other alleged arbitrary charges imposed by shipping companies and terminal operators at the nation’s ports.
The operators also complained about rising cost of logistics, alleged extortion, illegal charges, delay at the terminals and gridlock at the ports.
The Chairman, Executive Committee of the Concerned Freight Forwarders and Transporters, Chief Andy Omenogor, while speaking in Lagos at a media briefing on the state of the Nigerian economy, noted that the activities at the ports had adverse effect on the business of operators.
He said, ‘’The contrived congestion in the terminal or lack of space has resulted in the inability of our designated trucks to gain access into the terminal to load.
‘’This unfortunate scenario can last for several days or weeks. At the same time, we are battling to access and load our cargo containers, the shipping companies will keep charging demurrage for a delay that is not caused by us but by the terminal operators who fail to make their terminals accessible for easy flow of logistics.
“Furthermore and henceforth, we will not accept progressive demurrage from any shipping company as the same has been outlawed by the Federal Government.”
Omenogor listed container deposits, holding bay, placing lien on cargo, continued harassment of transporters and illegal container transfer charges by shipping companies as the challenges confronting operators in the maritime industry.
According to him, the group consists of top professionals such as licensed freight forwarders, importers/exporters, truck owners and logistic providers who have organised themselves irrespective of their various professional affiliations to bring an end to the alleged illegal policies of shipping companies operating in the Nigerian maritime industry.