Following freight forwarders’ threat to shut port operations over the recent hike in charges by terminal operators, the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, yesterday held a meeting with the aggrieved agents to find a solution to the lingering crisis.
It was gathered that the meeting which held at the office of the Council with the aggrieved freight forwarders under the aegis of Association of Concerned Freight Forwarders And Transporters, ACFF&T, led by its Vice President, Ndubuisi Uzoegbo, saw officials of the Council prevailing on the aggrieved agents to shelved the planned strike.
Recall that the terminal operators had commenced increasing the various charges from Monday 16, October, 2023 which is about a 500 per cent hike from the previous amount.
It was gathered that the Council team had pleaded with the aggrieved freight forwarders to shelve the planned strike to next week when the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of NSC, Emmanuel JIme and Director of Regulatory Services, Ifeoma Ezedinma, will be around.
Speaking with with newsmen on the issue, a member of ACFF&T, Jonny Ubaka, confirmed that the meeting held and that they were asked to hold on until the return of the Executive Secretary and Director, Regulatory Service. He also disclosed that another meeting is scheduled for next week.
The freight forwarders who were guests at Maritime Reporter Association of Nigeria, MARAN Roundtable in Lagos, had said that storage charges which used to be N15,120 after 14 days will now be over N90,000 when the new charge comes into effect.
Uzoegbo also explained that the planned increment, if allowed to be implemented will result in spiral inflation resulting in the tripling of cost of imported goods or outright abandonment of such imports since the importers cannot afford the new charges.
The planned increase in the handling charges,demurrage, rent collection and storage charges by Shipping companies and terminal operators have been described as action that will further drive inflation in the country.
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