Shippers groan as freight cost rises by 1,900%

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Lagos, Nigeria: entrance to the RoRo port - Nigerian Ports Authority - photo by A.Bartel

The Shippers Association of Lagos (SAL) said on Monday the cost of doing business has increased by 1,900 percent over time as traders groan under process challenges at seaports.

The SAL President, Jonathan Nicol, who confirmed the development to journalists in Lagos, said the cost of shipping goods has increased from N10,000 to N200,000.

He said the Federal Government has not offered any form of palliative to shippers.

Nicol stressed that the challenges encountered by shippers were affecting their revenue and remittance to the federal government’s coffers.

The SAL chief said the Nigeria Customs Service could generate about N2 trillion annually, nothing stops the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency( NIMASA) from generating revenue in excess of trillions of naira.

Nicol lamented that several cargoes are stranded in China due to the inability of shippers to transport empty containers out of Nigeria.

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Ripples Nigeria gathered that there are 10,000 idle containers that can’t be put into use, causing goods to be trapped in China and Europe.

He said: “Industries suffer more because of what most of their materials pass through before they are taken out of port, and the erratic power supply leads to dependency on generators. This requires a lot of money.

“The Customs Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) system is supposed to be an advisory document, but unfortunately, it is not working effectively.”

“The bad roads make our goods fall off the trucks and this is a big challenge for shippers because their goods are not guaranteed.

“Insurance will say it is a natural consequence because the roads are not part of what they insured.”

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