THE Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) on Monday visited the offices of three shipping companies, Maersk Line, Grimaldi Shipping Line, and CMA-CGM, advocating for fair treatment of Nigerian shippers.
This is even as the agency clamoured for extension of demurrage free period from three days to 21 days.
The Executive Secretary of the Council, Barr. Hassan Bello, while speaking on Monday at Maersk line, charged the shipping company to extend the demurrage free period from three to 21 days in order to accommodate circumstances beyond the making of the importers, agents and transporters.
He also stated that clearing agents and importers have been complaining of slow refund of demurrage and charges over little dent and scratch.
“There are issues of container deposit which we have to look at and constant complaint by shippers over failure to return containers and agreement to refund same within four days. Mostly, it’s not the fault of the shippers.
“The Council is concerned about containers regime and how you abide by the return of deposited within four days,” Bello stated.
The Council boss who also urged shipping companies to de-emphasis demurrage based on a relationship with Customers asked the shipping lines to be considerate of their customers.
“During gridlock, when the port is inaccessible, what can you offer in term of consideration. You should have the consideration for shippers such as 21 days free period, else there will be gridlock upon gridlock in the port area.
“Please look into it and by extension to 21 days free time in order to accommodate circumstances that are not anyone making.
“The charges must be according to service rendered and according to what people know that have been rendered, and as a big player, we expect you to give general consideration to your customers,” the Shippers Council boss added.
Responding to the Council boss, the Director, Customer Service Central West Africa of Maersk Line, Razak Ngula said about 1600 containers belonging to the shipping line are still hanging with different customers.
He stated that the container deposit is not to recover the value of container and that container refunds are done within three days to the customers.
In his words, “1600 boxes are still out there not returned, yet these containers are needed for the voyage.
The deposit is not to recover the value of a container.
“We ensure that the refund process is smooth and can be done within 3 working days,”Ngula stated.
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