Nigerian Shippers’ Council has said that a meeting with Haulage Associations and unions had resulted in a 30 per cent reduction in charges.
Mrs Rakiya Zubairu, Deputy Director, Public Relations, NSC, made this known in a statement in Lagos.
According to her, the aim of the meeting was to work out a modus operandi for cargo evacuation from the seaport that complied with COVID-19 guidelines, as well as support port operations and the economy.
She said that unions and associations that participated in the meeting include National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Association of Maritime Transport Owners (AMATO) and Container Truck Owners Association.
Others are Corporate Fleet Owners Association, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Amalgamation of Containers Truck Owners and Council of Maritime Transport Union and Association (COMTUA).
Zubairu said that the associations and unions agreed to reduce haulage cost by 30 per cent across board to serve as benchmark freight rates for the evacuation of cargoes from the seaport during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She listed the new benchmark rates from the Lagos seaport to selected locations: Ikeja/Agege environs that had N400,000 and N500,000 cost for 20ft and 40ft containers, had come down to N280,000 and N350,000.
“For Amuwo, Okota and satellite, the 20ft and 40ft containers has been reduced from N350,000 and N400,000 to N245,000 and N280,000.
“Also for Surulere, Ijesha and Mushin, it has reduced from N300,000 and N380,000 to N210,000 and N266,000 respectively.
“For Lagos Island, the 20ft and 40ft container rate has been reduced from N350,000 and N400,000 to N245,000 to N280,000 respectively.
“For Badagry, Agbara, Mowe, Shagamu, Lekki Free Zone and Ikorodu, it has been reduced from N450,000 and N550,000 to N315,000 and N385,000,” she said.
Zubairu said that the effective date for the implementation of the benchmark rates was April 22 and would last for the period of COVID-19.
The rates are subject to review after due consultation and meeting with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.
According to the deputy director, the hauliers group agreed to constitute a monitoring and compliance team to ensure that the benchmark rates are complied with.
She said that the meeting further recognised the challenges faced by hauliers relating to non-issuance of Terminal Delivery Order by some terminals, extortion on the port access roads, ban on interstate movement and limited bank services.
By Chris Ndibe