The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has asked APM Terminals, Apapa to position containers for examination within 36 hours after importers or clearing agents’ request.
This was disclosed by the executive secretary (NSC) Hon. Emmanuel Jime, when he paid a courtesy visit on the terminal in Lagos yesterday.
According to the shippers’ Council’s boss, when a request is made for positioning of containers for examination, the request should be granted between 36 hours maximum saying delay in such thing costly.
Jime said, “when a request is made for examination of container, the request should be granted between 36 hours maximum this is because we don’t want delay. It is also consistent with what we have told all the terminal operators that boxes should be positioned atleast 36 hours after request,” he said.
The Council’s boss also urged the terminal operator to ensure that all tariffs headings are comensurate with the services rendered to importers and clearing agents.
Jime said when all tariffs headings are tied to services rendered, it will ensure that arbitrary charges are avoided.
“Part of our core mandate has to do with cost and we are very concerned about how we can modernise cost and we are urging APMT to partner with us to put down cost of services. All cost and tariff headings must be justified as the shippers’ council give approval to.
“Services need to be rendered adequately and timely so that it will impact on the cost and business,” he said.
On operational issues, Jime encouraged the terminal operator to ensure that they are fully digitalised for lesser human interface which he said would guarantee more successes.
“For effective management of return of empty container, we urge the terminal to create a window without obstruction into the terminal and there should be adequate information on space for empty containers,” he said.
The shippers council boss called on the need for a customer care desk that would work with the council saying it will enable them handle complaints for effective service delivery.
He urged the terminal operator to grant the council unfettered access to the terminal when on official duty, share statistics and data which would be used to adequately advice the Nigerian government as far as the industry was concerned.
“I like to appreciate you and your management for the investment that you have already done and will continue to do, there are changes seen and I am impressed with all I have seen already.
“All I can say to you now is that we seek your cooperation as usual so that we can sustain the laudable improvement in service delivery.
“We run an open policy and we all are available to ensure that investment made here benefits not only to the investor but everyone,” he said.
Responding, the country manager, APM Terminals, Apapa, Klaus Laursen told the visiting executive secretary that cargo dwell time that had gone down towards the end of last years had continue rising again.
He, however, said the increase in dwell time was due to traffic on the port access road, poor documentation and Customs procedures.
Though, he told the Shipper’s Council’s delegation the company make money through storage charges but complained that when dwell time goes up, it affects their operation because they are always unable to discharge fresh cargo from vessels at berth.
He said, “We need to keep in mind that we need to facilitate trade the more and we have lots of rooms for improvement, however, the cargo dwell time has started increasing, though, we make money through storage charges but, when the terminal is filled and terminal can no longer take more cargoes then we won’t be able to discharge vessels anymore.
“We saw lot of improvement last year but now, it has started going up and these is due to documentation, traffic on the port access road and Customs procedures. We want containers out of our facility as fast as possible,” he said.