By DAPO OLAWUNI
There are indications that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi may have approved the increase in storage and terminal charges by terminal operators, even as the Port and Terminal Multiservices Ltd (PTML) on Monday officially commenced implementation of its increased tariff on imported vehicles.
DAILY TREND NEWS recalls that PTML as well as Five Star Logistics Terminal had in June 1st 2021 increased their terminal handling charges by as much as 50%. Both terminals would have commenced implementation but they were prevailed upon by the Nigerian Shippers Council.
Both terminals have blamed the increment on inflation in Nigeria, huge operational cost due to nature of Nigerian ports among others.
Clearing and forwarding agents at the PTML Terminal and the Tin Can Island Port are however spoiling for war with the biggest roll-on roll-off terminal.
PTML at the weekend had announced September 6th as implementation of its restructured Roro tariff.
In a notice sent to all its customers, a copy of which was obtained by DAILY TREND NEWS, the terminal management argued that the challenging operational port environment, as well as inflation in the economy necessitated the increments.
“With further reference to our previous notice of 1st June 2021, in this regard, we are finally Implementing the restructuring of our RORO tariffs from 6′” September 2021 as follows;
“To reiterate, PTML would like to bring to the attention of its esteemed customers that the dramatic surge in Inflation in 2020 and 2021 and the ever-increasing operational expenses Incurred because of the particularly challenging operational port environment, have had a huge Impact on the company direct cost that necessitated this adjustment”
“PTML is confident that Its esteemed customers will understand the rationale behind this review that will assist us in ensuring our superior level of service while keeping the competitiveness of its rates” the circular stated.
A breakdown of the increased charges according to the customer notice shows that, Terminal Handling Charge (THC) for vehicles is now N22,000 while Terminal Delivery Charge (TDC) is N5,000.
As for Vans, SUV and Jeeps, the THC is N33,000 while TDC is N6,000. As for Trucks and Buses, THC is N42,900 while TDC is N8,000. On trailers, THC is N55, 800 while TDC is N9,000. As for plants, the THC is N72,600 while TDC is N10,000.
Charges per Bill of Laden is now N15,000, among other storage charges.
Meanwhile, clearing agents and freight forwarders have condemned the increment even as some of them blamed the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi for approving the increase in terminal operators charges across board.
One of the agents Hakeem Agoro alleged that “The approval to proceed with the increment was given by Minister of Transport Amaechi last week, however, we will never accept this increase ” he stated
Another clearing agent, Omoniyi Taiwo accused the executives of the PTML Chapter of the various freight forwarding associations of haven compromised and accepted bribes from the terminal operators in order to allow them implement the increase.
According to him “They would have commenced implementation since 1st of June, but we heard that the Shippers Council stopped them and told them to come for negotiations first, now it seems they have gotten the approval they needed.
“The tension and pressure is too much on us as freight forwarders, I learnt that the chapter executives have agreed with the terminal operators to increase their charges, but we would not accept it.
CRFFN are also coming up with their own, they want to kill the clearing agents at the port ”
“The chapter executives of ANLCA, NAGAFF and others were officially informed of this commencement, but they failed to pass the message to us in time” he alleged.