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Cargoes: Cotonou, Lome introduce THC, raises hope at Nigeria’s seaports

Two of Nigeria’s seaport competitors in the West African coastline, Ports of Lome and Cotonou in Togo and Benin Republic respectively are set to introduce Terminal Handling Charges (THC) with effect from August 15, 2016.

It will be recalled that this two ports have successfully diverted cargoes away from Nigeria’s seaports following the introduction of the Auto policy and bulk cargoes restrictions by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Added to this policies have been the fact that while Nigeria’s private operators running her seaports charges THC, this two neighbouring ports does not, which further forced many importers to divert their cargoes from Nigeria’s seaports to these neighbouring ports.

According to a port worker who declined to have his name in print, “the move at the two neighbouring ports could affect the rush to these ports by Nigerian importers.”We just hope these new charges at Lome and Cotonu will discourage importers from diverting cargoes down there and bring them to Nigerian ports,” He stated.

In a notice sent to all stakeholders recently, shipping firm, CMA/CGM explained that THC will be applicable in addition to the ocean freight for import and export cargo and payable at Cotonou as follows:Dry Containers: EUR 95 per 20’ – EUR 135 per 40’, Reefer Containers, EUR 140 per 20’ – EUR 195 per 40’, Special Containers: EUR 145 per 20’ – EUR 205 per 40’.

CMA CGM also explained that, “As a common practice in the shipping industry worldwide and considering the challenging market environment with significant operational cost in Benin, CMA CGM wishes to inform its customers of the implementation of a Terminal Handling Charge (THC) in Cotonou.

“As from August 15, 2016, THC will be applicable in addition to the ocean freight for import and export cargo and payable at Lome as follows: Dry Containers: EUR 100 per 20’ – EUR 150 per 40’, Reefer Containers: EUR 145 per 20’ – EUR 270 per 40’, Special Containers: EUR 150 per 20’ – EUR 285 per 40’.