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Shipping lines face holding bay, damaged containers’ challenge



Shipping lines face holding bay, damaged containers’ challenge

Shipping lines are currently facing challenge of securing holding bays to stack their empty containers as directed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Also, some of them are finding it difficult to return damaged containers to their ports of origin in Europe, Asia and America.


Investigation by New Telegraph revealed that in the first half of 2017, NPA recorded 223,168 empty containers in all the ports. It was gathered that a total of 101,717 empty containers were stacked at the port in the first three months of the year, while 121,451 empty containers were recorded between April and June last year.


The Lagos Port hosted 53,937 empty containers, while a total of 133,115 empty containers were stacked at Tincan Island Port in the period. Some of the liners operating in the country include Maersk Line, Arkas, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), African European Lines, Hull Blyth, China Shipping Company (COSCO), CMA-CGM and Pacific International Lines (PIL). Others are Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), ZIM International Shipping Line (ZIM) and SDV among others. Already, the authority has suspended Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Hull Blyth over inability to provide holding bays for their empty containers.


The companies were accused of blocking ports and access roads with empty containers, leading heavy gridlock. It was gathered that they may not be allowed to berth their ships at the port if they failed to provide a bay. A source in one of the affected company told New Telegraph that NPA had first invited them for a meeting last November, over the issue but the management of his company declined to attend the meeting.


According to the source, “NPA was punishing our company for snubbing them. After all, we are not the only shipping lines that didn’t have a holding bay.” The source also said that his company was facing the challenge of securing a space for holding in Apapa.


He added that some of the empty containers were in bad shape, noting that some of the damaged containers fell on the Nigerian roads, adding that no shipping company would accept them in Europe.


It was gathered NPA, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Shippers Council and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), have no record of empty containers in most of the terminals as over 40 per cent of the space at the ports was occupied by unfilled containers.


It would be recalled that NPA had at last November, had directed that all shipping companies should stack their empty containers and trucks in their holding bays outside the port pending the time their vessels would lift them out of the country.


However, after three months of non-compliance, NPA issued another warning last week, saying that shipping companies that littered the port roads with empty containers under the guise of a holding bay would be sanctioned. It said that severe sanction would be meted to erring organisations, which refused to obey the rules guiding the directives after one week.

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  1. Pingback: Shipping lines face holding bay, damaged containers’ challenge - Naijaray Headline

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