Fresh indications have emerged that vessels could no longer berth freely at Nigerian ports as a result of congestion inside the port terminals occasioned by lack of handling equipment and lack of space by terminal operators.
The congestion at the port is also connected to the closure of Nigerian land borders by the Federal Government.
An International shipping company calling at the Lagos Port Complex of Apapa Port and Tin Can Port; Pacific International Lines (PIL) raised an alarm saying that it takes three weeks to berth a vessel at both ports.
In a letter issued to importers and their clearing agents, PIL warned that Lagos ports have reached its maximum capacity, even as it advised importers to factor this into their importation schedule.
According to the letter entitled: “Re: Nigeria Port Delays (Lagos/Tin Can),” PIL wrote “Kindly be advised that Nigeria is currently facing severe berthing delays at Lagos Tin Can.
Lagos is facing close to 3 weeks and Tin Can 5 to 6 days berthing. This is affecting all lines and please factors this into your supply chain delivery date.
“It is understood that the delays are attributed to the Port being at maximum capacity due to the country effectively closing its Borders to neighboring countries, compounded by lack of equipment in the Terminal and a recent fire in the port confines.
We regret any negative impact this may have and be assured of our best efforts to get your cargo to destination as quickly as possible.
“Please do not hesitate to contact our marketing team for any updates or assistance.” It reads.
Prince Segun Oduntan, Chairman of Tin Can Island Chapter of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) also confirmed to DAILY TREND NEWS that terminals at the port are filled to the brim.
He said that evacuation of cargoes from the terminal has been traumatic due to the bad access road, brazen collection of bribes by task forces and security agencies on the port access road as well as the ongoing repairs of the Mile2-Tin Can expressway.
Oduntan however confirmed that the congestion has now forced one of the terminal operators; Tin Can Island Container Terminal to commence evacuation of cargoes by barges.
He said evacuation of containers by barges is cheaper and faster than taking delivery by road.