PSS surcharges: Foreign shipping line strangulating Nigerian shippers — SALS

•Seeks finance ministry’s intervention

The Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) has lamented that with arbitrary introduction of excessive shipping charges in the form of Peak Season Surcharge (PSS), foreign shipping companies are strangulating Nigerian shippers and importers. This is even as the group also revealed why there are so many overtime cargoes at the ports.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune exclusively on the issue of overtime cargoes, President of SALS, Rev. Jonathan Nicol, stated that, “How do you expect somebody to bring in a set of cargoes with 20,000 Dollars and is being asked to come and clear them from the ports with 50,000 Dollars? Is that a viable transaction? Can you now see why cargo owners leave their containers in the ports? This is the reason why there are so many overtime containers in the ports.

“I don’t blame the people that abandon their containers in our ports because the cost of clearing those containers is twice the value of those containers.”

On Peak Season Surcharge, Nicole explained that the foreign shipping lines ought to have given a notice to its customers before slamming the freight increase on Nigerian bound cargoes. In his words, “The foreign shipping lines were supposed to give a notice to us (shippers) because we are trade partners, but they didn’t. They just slammed the PSS charge on our consignment coming to Nigeria.

“We don’t know how the foreign shipping lines arrived at $1025 PSS surcharges for 20feet and 40feet containers coming to Nigeria, but why is it only on cargoes destined for Nigerian ports? Obviously, Nigeria is the target.

“They (foreign shipping lines) claim to spend 50 days waiting to berth at Nigerian ports due to delays, and that they pay 2000 Dollars daily while waiting, but why are they bringing in PSS now in this Covid-19 ravaged period?

“It is time for the Ministry of finance to make a statement on this because this action is killing our ports slowly. The Union of African Shippers Council (UASC) has already issued a statement on this, and it is being escalated.

“The foreign shipping lines ought to be happy that they have cargoes to move because the freight charges should be enough for them. We are in a pandemic period; this is not the right time to introduce new and excessive charges. Everybody is giving concession that lures people to come and do business in this pandemic period, so why are the shipping lines trying to kill business at this time?

“We are not against the shipping lines because we are trade partners with them. However, with the PSS introduction, we feel they are strangulating us. Don’t forget the border closure is still there. Why introduce PSS now in this Covid-19 rattled economy?”



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