APAPA GRIDLOCK BACKLASH: CMA CGM Slams US$400 Port Congestion Surcharge Per Container On Lagos Ports    

A CMA CGM Container carrier

The international shipping community over the weekend commenced actions against Nigeria for congestion in Lagos ports. Leading shipping line; CMA CGM slammed what it appropriately called Congestion Charges on the two ports of Apapa and Tin Can.

In an email sent to one of our correspondents on Friday, the company announced that effective October 15, 2018, cargoes from any part of the world on CMA CGM ships will attract extra “USD 400 / EUR 350 per 20' Dry and Reefer and USD 400 / EUR 350 per 40' Dry and Reefer”.

The frontline shipping linebased its action on what it called disruption of its activities based on congestion in the two Lagos ports.

In the mail, it explained that: “Port congestion at Lagos ports, Nigeria, is currently increasing our operational costs and generating severe service disruption for several weeks.”

The mail added that: “CMA CGM will therefore implement the following Emergency Congestion Surcharge on Lagos import cargo, effective October 15th, 2018 (B/L date) for non-FMC trades and November 5th, 2018 (B/L date) for FMC trades”.

It also indicated that the surcharge is payable on categories of cargoes including: dry, reefer, OOG and break bulk.

There have been fears about the number of un-cleared containers in Lagos ports, a development that stakeholders have blamed on the bad access roads to the ports. The figure of such containers ranges between 6,000 and 10,000 teus.

Some of these containers have been there for years, even as there is disagreement between the Nigeria Customs Service and terminal operators over who and how the cost of transferring the containers out of the ports to the government facilities at Ikorodu should be undertaken.

Cargoes are classified as overtime when they have stayed in the port for 28 days without the importer or clearing agent coming up to clear them and take delivery.

Confirming the pile-up of such containers, recently, the Public Relations Officer of the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service;  Nkiru Nwala  however blamed the high cost of transportation for the non-transfer of overtime cargoes from Apapa port to the government warehouse in Ikorodu.

She claimed that, “it costs N550,000 to move a 20-foot container from Apapa to Jibowu, a suburb of Lagos – a cost which the Command cannot afford to bear.”

Nwala added that the Command’s Controller, Abubakar Bashir, has already commenced talks with the Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex, Apapa; Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim and the terminal operators at the port on how the overtime cargoes  can be moved out of the port to avoid port congestion at the terminals and the quays.