By DAPO OLAWUNI
Investigations by DAILY TREND NEWS has shown that the price of trucking cargoes from Nigerian ports has dropped drastically from the N1million being collected in December 2020 to as low as N210,000 in the month of June 2021.
Recall that when the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) launched the Electronic call-up system popularly known as ETO, there were serious industry criticism and skepticism about its workability.
Even though stakeholders who spoke with our correspondent argued that the ETO Call-Up system, especially its electronic portal sometimes experience down time, they however unanimously agreed that it has been effective on trucking haulage prices.
Other factors that has led to the decrease in truck haulage price is the ongoing construction of the port access road and the recent speed in the pace of construction.
However, it is Not yet Uhuru as the stakeholders identified the Sunrise Bus-stop axis of Apapa as a major bottleneck in free movement of csrgoes at the moment.
Speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS, freight forwarder, Mr Emeka Efi confirmed that that transportation of cargoes that crashed down to N250,000 and N210,000.
He however lamented that due to down time of ETO Call up system portal, the prices is now at N300,000 and it is going up again to N400,000.
“It came down to as low as N210,000 and I loaded so many trucks.
But yesterday, the ETO Call-Up system was not even running at all for like three days and this caused the price to increase again to N450,000”
“The reduction in price was necessitated by the increase in the pace of the road construction, as well as the ETO electronic call-up system by the NPA working effectively”
“But the information we are hearing now is that the ETO Portal is down and its not coming up. So, trucks that are already in the port area are trapped there”
“If this is not addressed, the truckers would take advantage of it and increase their fairs to N1million like they did last year”
“If the ETO Call-Up system is well implemented, it would help port activities. It must be well guided and not allowed to be hijacked by touts”
“We were already envisaging that the haulage price would go down to N150,000 or N100,000 but it has now gone up again.
The major challenge is at the Sun Rise bus stop, it is a pain in the neck” he said
Also confirming the reduction, Vice Chairman of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Island Port, Chief Mike Okolichi said the prices of trucking goods differs, depending on where the cargo is being transported.
He confirmed that, at Tin Can Island Port, the haulage price for now is N350,000 and it is because ETO Call-Up system stopped working.
“Why the price is coming down is because there is no cargoes to be cleared presently, the importers and the agents are not making anything”
He said that vessels coming to drop cargoes at Nigerian ports are being allowed to go empty on their return voyage, thereby leading to container scarcity abroad.
“This is the reason why the cost of freight has increased abroad because there is no empty containers to load cargo”
Also speaking with our correspondent, a frontline freight forwarder, Mr. Jonathan Owoh said that the haulage prices fluctuates, and that it depends on the condition of the day.
Speaking, he said “The condition of the Sun Rise bus stop contributes to the changes in price, sometimes, when the road is closed, you will find out that containers loaded for instance at PTML Terminal would take up to 48hours to exit that bad spot.
So, for some truck owners, instead of charging N300,000 to Ladipo market, they would increase it to N350,000 or N400,000”
“The extortions at the port is still very high.
The ETO Call-Up system has not started working fully, majority of agents and transporters are still confused, the process has not be streamlined and the manipulations are still on”
“Some trucks, before they gain access to the port would have to pay N10,000 and N5,000 or N15,000 in some cases”
“The ETO Call-Up system would make a difference if the operators are serious and are religious in what they are supposed to do, if they are strict and they don’t compromise, they would make positive impact”
“The multitude of security agencies at the port are extorting the port users, if you come to the port at night, you would see what is going on” he said