—blame weak regulatory environment
Freight Forwarders plying their trade at the Nigerian ports have claimed that about 45 to 50 percent of containers used to bring in exports into the country are expired.
They lamented that some of these containers are so bad that they are patched by the side to import items into the country, warning that this has a dire consequence, especially if the imported items are consumables
It could be recalled that the life cycle of container range between 15 to 20 years but the freighters alleged that most of the containers used by foreign freight forwarders for shipment of goods into the country have exceeded the age limit
Lending credence to this disturbing trend, the Tincan chapter chairman of the Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Comrade Godfrey Nwosu, expressed worry that such expired containers can do a lot of harm to the goods they are used to converge, especially if they are consumables or health products.
He observed that most of the freight forwarders in the countries of origin are mostly responsible for this anomaly.
The freight forwarder also blamed the trend on the fact that the older the container, the cheaper the cost of rent which could make shippers opt for them.
“45 percent, if not 50 percent, of the containers used for shipping goods into this country is expired.
“Do you know or are you aware that each container has a stainless plate that carries the identity of the container?”
“Most Shippers didn’t know who do vehicular shipment because they are not in the countries where shipments are made into the country.
“Most times, they just tell their Shippers they need 40 feet container to ship goods into the country, they will do the booking and lift the box to his yard and push them here”
“Most at times, the owners of these goods don’t have the final answer to evaluate or know the kind of box they use in carrying their shipments.
“The forwarders in the country of origin short-change them. The older the container, the cheaper the rate of renting it”
“The type of cargo sometimes determines the kind of container to use. For instance, there are containers that come with pallets and the suppliers of the pallets are different from the makers of the containers.
Nwosu lamented the lack of regulation on containers used to import goods into the country even as he maintained that it has dire consequences on the items and the consumers.
“There is no regulating standard for containers used for shipping
“Using an expired container is contagious for food items, medicaments because if the containers are expired, the wooden floors are also expired. If you use such containers with expired wooden floors for fragile or sensitive goods, the chemicals may contaminate them”
“You don’t just import health equipment with any container, it requires that the standards be maintained to avoid being contaminated.
Speaking in the same vein, Onome Monije, Public Relations Officer of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) said that the development could cause damage to items contained in them.
She added that there is not always time for the agents to forward their complaints because of fear of demurrage accumulation.
“When you have a rusted container and there are many cars inside the container and they touch the wall, it will definitely affect the cars.
“Most times, we are running to avoid demurrage, we tend not to give much attention to such cases because if you write to shipping companies, it will take time for them to reply to you.”
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NIMASA set to open Lokoja office to harness waterways resources
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has disclosed that the Agency is set to reopen the Lokoja office, as part of efforts towards harnessing the Blue Economy, enhancing collaboration, while also promoting Research and Development.
The DG, who made this known when he played host to the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (KADSEMA), Mal. Usman Hayatu Mazadu at the head office of the Agency in Lagos, noted that investment in research would play a major role in ensuring the harnessing of Nigeria’s maritime potentials.
“The key cardinal principle of opening the NIMASA Lokoja office is to improve on Research and Development.
He said, “Now, the Blue Economy has come to stay and very soon you will see the impact of what we have; in terms of the gains and benefits to grow our Gross Domestic Product while improving the well-being of our own Economy”.
Earlier in his remarks, Mallam Usman of KADSEMA lauded the Agency for the feat achieved so far, which cuts across the entire Nigeria.
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