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‘Compelling shipping companies to go back with empty containers’ll free port roads’
Leading maritime analyst and frontline Clearing Agent, Chief Enebong Usanga has given a strategic antidote that can tame the intractable traffic gridlock on all port access roads.
Speaking in an interview weekend, he said “Shipping Companies have to be blamed for the recent containers logjam on Lagos roads”.
He said aside the challenge of bad roads, “For the fact many shipping lines have refused to carry empty containers after discharging incoming ones, empty containers will continue to litter Lagos roads and in the process block any available space on the highways”.
He said “the secret of the many empty containers on our roads is that unlike before were every incoming ship after offloading its contents will carry empty containers back, but now the shipping companies refuse loading empty containers on outgoing ships in order for it to accrue demurrage for them”.
He said for now empty containers deposits ranges from N400,000 to N600,000 depending on the destination, lamenting that “as soon as importers or their Agents paid this money to shipping companies as empty containers deposits, the shipping companies refuses to pick back the empties so as to forfeit the entre money as demurrage and that this is the real issue why the shipping companies don’t want to have empty containers loading bay”.
Usanga recalled that “When we started this job over thirty years ago, if a ship comes in with 2000 units of containers, after offloading the containers, it’s also loads 2000 empties when going back, then there was no empty containers loitering the roads. But now because the shipping companies collects as much as N600,000 as empty container deposits, when a ship birth and offloads, they don’t carry empty containers again, either they go empty or move to neighboring countries to carry empty containers back, leaving the ones in Nigeria so they can accrue demurrage or to forfeit your deposits as demurrage. This is reaping off, the shipping companies have been enjoying and this is the real reason they don’t want to have empty containers loading bay”.
While revealing that “In the past four days over 14,000 containers have jam-packed in Lagos roads blocking major roads leading to the ports in Lagos,” he called on the Federal Government to intervene or else things will get out of hands in the maritime industry sooner than later.