By Godfrey Bivbere

IMPORT and export traders groups have indicated that the activities of terminal operators and shipping companies are now threatening safety of their consignments and the insurance covers.

Speaking at a meeting called by the minister of transportation through the Council of the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN, in Lagos to address the threat of shutting down port operations by freight forwarders over alleged extortion and highhandedness by shipping companies, the stakeholders noted if not checked the effect on the economy will be huge.

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National Secretary of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders in Nigeria, AREFFN, Frank Obiekezie, while speaking at the meeting said shipping companies and terminal operators transfer their containers from the port destination as contained in the bill of laden without the owners consent.

Obiekezie pointed out that whatever happens to shippers’ consignments while being moved from designated port to Bonded Terminal will not be covered by the shippers’ insurance, adding that such consignment could also either get missing or damaged in the process.

Similarly, Deputy National President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Adeniyi Ajayi, said it is not just the terminal operators and the shipping companies but also the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, which he alleged to have directed shipping lines to move continues to ports outside Lagos to curb congestion.

Ajayi further explained that NPA has no powers to direct shipping lines to move shippers’ consignments to other ports, likewise terminal operators and shipping companies.

He noted that any of the three that decides to move consignment without the consent of the shippers should foot the bill rather than transfer such cost to the shipper as it is done presently. 

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