Shipping lines hike RoRo, containerised cargo charges

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RoRo charges up 29%, Containerised up 48%
Agents allege international conspiracy

By Godfrey Bivbere

SHIPPING lines in Nigeria have increased charges for shipment of Roll-up Roll-off (RoRo) and other containerised goods in response to delay in return of empty containers.

Vanguard Maritime Report gathered that charges for RoRo consignments which used to be £850 is now £1,100 on Europe port of origin. Similarly, shipment of containerised vehicles from Europe which used to cost £2,700 now costs £4,000. An agent, Nicholas Chukwuemeka, told Vanguard Maritime Report that the hike cuts across all shipments to the country.

Containerised vehicles Also speaking on the issue, immediate past National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Olayiwola Shittu, confirmed that there have actually been increases in charges but he blamed it on alleged international conspiracy against Nigeria. Shittu said that there is a need for the Federal Government to empower Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, with the power to sanction erring shipping lines as Port Economic Regulator, PER.

He said: "Nigeria has always been a destination that is bastardised by the international shipping conspiracy. If they are not charging for war risk that is attributed to areas of civil unrest, they will be talking about piracy, and because we do not have our own shipping line, they can just do whatever they want. "All those increases are done at the port of origin, it is either you pay it or you leave it.

That is in addition to what they charge here at the destination, under local charges. Until the NSC is given the authority to sanction, they (Shippers Council) will only be doing what they are doing now, which is minimal, checkmating what the shipping companies are doing. "I think the government should give them (NSC) the power to deregister or send them packing.

They are the major cause of our problem, they are even part of the people that caused this gridlock that is happening in the port because they do not have holding bay and when you want to return your empty container you cannot. The container will lie on top of a trailer for a week or two. "The after effect is that transporters will charge you more because what would have taken the transporters two days is now taking them two weeks.

That is why from Apapa to Trade Fair market the transporters are charging N700,000. "How I wish the Shippers' Council will be empowered to give sanctions and you will see that all these things will be a thing of the past, including international sanctions because the same consignment that is going to Togo or Benin Republic will have a different charge to when it is coming to Nigeria, what is the difference in distance? "At the time it is taking up internationally, such liner should be sanctioned appropriately.

That is the way forward," he said.

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