Under normal circumstances, cargoes are meant to last about 30 days or a few weeks at ports before they are ferried away by their importers to their final destinations. But that theory appears to be Utopian as far as Lagos seaports are concerned. Cargoes now loiter at the ports for months and years.
At the moment, over 10, 000 cargoes are currently lying at Tin Can and Apapa seaports in Lagos, a development that has not only led to congestion, but has also forced a shipping firm to stir the hornets’ nest with a controversial congestion surcharge on all Nigeria-bound cargoes.
Cargoes are classified as overtime when they have stayed in the ports for between 28-30 days without clearing and delivery. Many cargoes at the Lagos ports have stayed for between 30 days and seven years and still counting. Consequent upon this ugly development, French shipping company, CMACGM, recently served notice of plans to introduce a $400 surcharge on Lagos-bound cargoes saying its action was necessitated by disruption of its activities due to congestion at the ports. The fine, which was to come into effect on October 15, 2018, would have amounted to extra costs for importers and higher costs for manufacturers.
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