FRESH indications have emerged that truck drivers at Nigerian ports are now avoiding importers with Hapag Lloyd containers, even as those agreeing to lift such containers have hiked their charges by 500 per cent.
Confirming this to newsmen in Lagos recently, Vice President of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs service (ANLCA) Kayode Farinto said that ANLCA executives had to lead some of its top members on a fact finding mission to Hapag Lloyd’s office in Apapa to find out why truckers are avoiding their containers.
He said the management of the shipping company had tendered a defense, saying that the situation was aggravated because most truckers prefer to come directly to the port with empty containers rather than make use of container holding bays scattered around Lagos.
Farinto said the company has subsequently agreed to stop deducting container refunds for truckers with Hapag Lloyd containers once they have reached the queue, seeking access into the port.
“We have had several complaints from our members on operations of Hapag Lloyd, agents are saying that it is very expensive to handle their containers because transporters are charging extra to lift Hapag Lloyd containers, they collect over 500% extra.
“When we went there on a fact finding mission, they told us they have about four holding bays; Bollore, TICT, Creek Road and another at Orile.
“When we asked why it is difficult for our members to get transporters to carry their containers, they told us that some of our members prefer to bring the empty containers to the port.
“We also complained about the lack of convenience in the hall where they are doing documentation for release.
“They have said that once the container is on queue outside the terminal, agents should come and notify them so that they can stop deducting from the container deposit.”