Agents kick as APMT imposes restrictions on spare parts containers

AGENTS operating at the Lagos ports have kicked against the plan by the Lagos port container operator, APM Terminal to stop positioning for physical examination, containers laden with loose spare parts.

According to a newsletter sent out by leading French shipping company, CMA-CGM to its clients in Nigeria recently, a copy which was sighted by the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, APM Terminal stated that effective from 30th of June 2019, it will cease to position containers laden with loose spare parts for physical examination.

“This is to inform you that the Apapa terminal operator, APM Terminals (APMT) has advised that effective from 30th of June 2019, it will cease to position containers laden with loose spare parts for physical examination.

“Therefore, all used spare parts are advised to be loaded in open-top containers for the terminal to position for examination. This is due to the safety hazards this commodity poses to our staff on examination ground,” the CMA-CGM newsletter of May 16th, 2019 stated.

However, speaking to the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, a clearing agent who identified himself as Chinedu Obiorah stated that such decision is too harsh on importers given the fact that many spare parts laden container, due to turbulence at sea when coming, end up getting loosed while inside the container.

In the words of Obiorah, “Most of the spare parts that arrive our ports are always in loose shape due to turbulence at sea during their journey. That is beyond the importer to decide in what shape or form his or her spare part laden container will arrive the ports.

“Now that APM Terminal is demanding that such spare parts should be loaded in open-top containers before it can position them for examination, who pays for such services?”

Another agent, Mike Orji who confirmed receiving the email from CMA-CGM wondered what type of hazards APM Terminal workers face while positioning loose spare parts laden containers for examination.

“I got the newsletter from CMA-CGM too. What I don’t understand is the type of hazards their workers face while positioning loose spare parts containers for examination. I just hope it’s not another ploy to fleece Nigerians of their hard earned money

“In this part of the world, it is only the beginning of a policy that we get to hear, nobody knows the end of such policy. The terminal operator has not told us if it comes at a cost to the importer. Is the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) aware of this change? Nobody has told us,” Orji stated while speaking to the Nigerian Tribune.

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