Nigerian Ports Authority criticizes CMA CGM over $400 surcharge

Agents were threatening a boycott and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has threatened to sanction CMA CGM over its imposition of $400 surcharge per container on shipments to two ports of Lagos.

In statements last week NPA and the leadership of association of clearing agents said they were act in a similar way against any shipping line that attempted such a surcharge.

The congestion charge has been applied on arrivals at TinCan Island and Apapa ports. CMA CGM had informed importers and clearing agents last week that, effective October 15th, cargoes from any part of the world on its ships would attract extra charges. The shipping line said that disruption of its activities because of congestion in the two Lagos ports.

“Port congestion at Lagos ports, Nigeria, is currently increasing our operational costs and generating severe service disruption for several weeks”, CMA CGM said Acting General-Manager Corporate and Strategic Communications at NPA Isa Suwaid, adding that the new charges could not be allowed to stand after NPA checks revealed that some of the shipping companies had failed to comply fully with the directive to acquire and operate holding bays; he said they had either failed to utilize their holding bays at all or did not have adequate capacity to handle the volume of containers that they dealt with.

Suwald claimed that it was these conducts which had contributed to the persistent congestion around the Lagos Port Complex and the Tin Can Island Port, spreading to other parts of the Lagos metropolis where truck drivers with no immediate business at the ports now park their trucks”.

Suwald said that the NPA would “review the level of compliance to its directives and determine further actions in addition to this, the NPA will henceforth embark on a regular compliance check of the operations of holding bays by shipping companies and terminal operators and defaulters will be sanctioned.”