THE Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, has ordered shipping companies to vacate the off-dock terminal charge of N70,000 per container which they introduced about a month ago.
Maritime Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, said that the agency has met with one of the shipping companies, Mediterranean Shipping Company, MSC, to return to status quo.
Bello said that the terminal charge was never discussed, neither was it approved by the Council. Reacting to the development, Clarion Shipping Company Limited, operator of Clarion Bonded Terminal, a vehicle terminal in Lagos, has charged it’s importers to stop using MSC Shipping Company to freight their cargoes following the introduction of the off- dock terminal charge.
General Manager of the shipping company, Mr. Frank Okocha, stated: “Even if they know you are carrying your cargo tomorrow, they would still rate two weeks ahead, they said they are doing this because people no longer return their containers on time and they said the money is refundable, this is why people have been paying.
“They collect more than N70,000 if you pick a cargo from the port today, you must pay two weeks in advance, when you return the container, they would now calculate it along your container deposit, this is illegal because this is why we have the container deposit in the first place.
“We are going to start de-marketing them, importers should boycott MSC, by the time their traffic begins to fall, and they would begin to ask why.
As I speak with you now, I have made sure that the news is all over Europe, in Canada and America that they should boycott MSC because they are introducing funny charges.”