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Congestion at terminals escalates, stacking rises to seven levels

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Now takes a week to examine consignment

By Godfrey Bivbere

FOLLOWING the mounting pressures on available spaces and facilities at seaport terminals, stakeholders in the maritime industry have warned port operators that the stacking of containers up to seven level high at the terminals is a sign that congestion may soon become overwhelming. This is even as the stakeholders slammed the management of APM Terminals over its recent claims that importers and their agents are responsible for the congestions at its terminal.

The stakeholders noted that the high stacking of containers not only slow down the speed of positioning cargoes for examination but also delivery of consignments.

Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report on the issue, immediate past National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Olayiwola Shittu, said that most terminal operators now stack their containers seven-level to accommodate the excess containers.

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According to Shittu, “Nothing is normal anymore in Nigeria Ports, nothing is normal. That is why APM Terminal can come out to blame importers and agents for creating a bloat in their terminal, forgetting that they and other terminal operators are the ones that are double stacking like you just pointed out.

“It takes longer time for anybody to get a container for examination now; sometimes more than a week from the time you apply for it. When a container is laying down under six other containers, they have to remove the six containers above before recovering the seventh. We have lost it, nothing is working.”

Similarly, former President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Eugene Nweke, said that such level of stacking of containers is a sign that congestion was mounting.

He, therefore, called on the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and the terminal operators to take measures to correct the impending crises.

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