IFFA explains whereabouts of missing 1,600 empty containers, refutes shipping companies’ allegations


The Chairman, International Freight Forwarders Association (IFFA), Tincan Island chapter, Mr. Akintoye Ojo Peter has said that contrary to claims by the shipping companies that about 1,600 containers are yet to be returned, the alleged missing empty containers are not lost rather the containers are littered the highways across the nation.

Akintoye who made this known in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos last weekend explained that following series of accidents by the truckers on the highway and their inability to immediately get cranes to pull the containers from the scene of accidents, the containers were left there pending the time the service of a crane would be procured to pull out the containers from the scene and returned to the ports.

He pointed out that the shipping companies contribute to the delays witnessed in returning the empty containers as according to him, even when most of the containers fall on the roads and an application was made to them to come and help with their crane, they would bluntly turn down the application on the premise that their equipment cannot leave their terminal.

According to him,” Business is about two ways, you don’t think always of gain without loss. What is the palliative measures they put on the roads to ensure that the roads are motorable? Most of these containers fall on the roads and you apply to them to come and help you with their crane and they will tell you that their equipment cannot leave their terminal.

“Is it not the responsibility of the shipping companies to have holding bays? Are they making use of those holding bays? How many holding bays does CMA have? So, they are not making use of their holding bays. The worst part of it is that even the areas you think there is no vacancy before; we discovered that there is a lot of vacancies but they will not make use of that opportunity when the vacancy was there.

“They are the cause; there is nothing anybody can do. When you are travelling, you see some of the boxes on the road, they are claiming that the truck owners will come to an accident scene and tow their trucks away leaving the boxes, the truckers are even helping them because the police that will come there, trying to rescue people and try to incident that issue sometime take those trucks to their stations but they won’t be able to carry the box. So, it is not that these things are really stolen”.

He however challenged the management of the shipping companies to point to one particular person that took their containers and they were sold if they are sure of what they were saying describing the claims by the shipping companies that their containers were sold or diverted for other uses as a false allegation.

He continued,” I am not saying that it is not possible at all but how could someone make such allegation. It is not only the agents that are liable for that, the transporters are there, so, are you now saying that the agents with the connivance of the transporters sold their containers or took it somewhere? There are lots of casualties that do happen that we all know but then, what is the assistance that the shipping companies are rendering when we go to them to inform them that there is an accident that claims lives of which we cannot bring back those lives?”

Photo: IFFA Tincan chapter Chairman, Mr. Akintoye Ojo Peter.

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