The Federal Government through the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Thursday reduced port terminal charges from 600 per cent to 400 per cent and increased bulk cargo charges from 125 per cent to 250 per cent.
Rising from a meeting between the leadership of the Council, Seaport terminal operators, Shipping companies, freight forwarders and relevant stakeholders, it was agreed that the number of free days for cargo storage at the terminals has been increased from 3 days to 5 days to provide more flexibility for shippers and to reduce costs.
Confirming the development, the Director, Public Relations Unit of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Rekiya Dhikru-Yagboyaju said that the previously proposed 600 per cent increase in terminal charges has been reduced to 400 per cent adding that the adjustment aims to strike a balance between the needs of the terminal operators and the shippers.
According to Dhikru-Yagboyaju, besides the reduction in terminal charges, an increase of 100 per cent on bulk cargoes was agreed upon by stakeholders that attended the meeting.
Part of the resolution reached at the meeting include: “Break bulk cargo charges have been increased from 125 per cent to 250 per cent. This adjustment reflects the changing dynamics of the industry and ensures fair compensation for services provided.
“All complaints regarding inefficiencies by the terminal operators will be addressed immediately. This commitment aims to improve overall operations and enhance customer satisfaction.
“The Shippers Council has established a complaints desk at all ports. This dedicated desk will ensure that issues raised by stakeholders are resolved promptly and efficiently.
“Boxes that arrived prior to October 16th will be rated with the old rates. This provision aims to avoid any confusion or discrepancies in billing.
“Further discussions between the terminal operators and the Shippers Council will continue to refine and improve the processes. This ongoing dialogue will ensure that the interests of all parties are considered and addressed.
“By reaching these resolutions, the Nigerian Slippers Council, shipping companies, terminal operators, and relevant associations/stakeholders have demonstrated their commitment to fostering a harmonious working environment and addressing the concerns of the industry.
It was gathered that before the current review, importers pay as much as N816,000 as storage fee per 45” foot container, with the reduction such containers will less.
Speaking on the development, former Vice President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, said that as there are different rates for the payment for the storage of cargo so are the rates different in each terminal.