By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hon Emmanuel Jime has mandated multinational shipping companies operating in Nigeria to refund importers and their clearing agents their container deposits within a period of ten days.
This according to him, is to ensure twenty four hours port operation and incorporate multimodal approach to cargo delivery.
Jime stated this when he led top management of the agency on a courtesy visit to Maersk Line and Meditaranean Shipping Company (MSC) in Lagos on Tuesday.
He urged the operators to ensure the continuity of robust relationship they are having with the council.
The NSC boss wants the shipping companies to operate and conduct their operations within the regulatory framework of the Council, adding that they are expected to give NSC team unfettered access to monitor their operations to ensure compliance to set standards.
Issues raised by the CEO include to ensure that charges or fees collected by shipping companies are tied to service rendered in order to stem exploitative tendencies and arbitrariness.
Others are to ensure shipping companies put in place a Customer Care Desk to handle timeously every issues and complaints on service delivery. There should be frequent interaction with customers.
The Council’s helmsman called for full digitization of operational processes for greater efficiency, effective management of return of empty container.
Other revolves around issues such as shipping companies should adhere to government directives on evacuation of empty containers out of the country, shipping companies should ensure that consignees are not charged demurrage within the period of network down time, shipping companies must give adequate notification on the arrival of vessels and stemming of containers to shippers, shipping companies should ensure prompt refund of container deposit within agreed period of ten days, to ensure twenty four hours port operation and incorporate multimodal approach to cargo delivery.
In her response, the Managing Director, Maersk Line, Lara Lana expressed delight that NSC paid the visit. She lauded the Council for calling for the establishment of Customers Desk. NSC, she said, was the only agency that placed the interest of their customers at the forefront.
She noted that Maersk Line has created mobile applications for their customers to aid operations.
In a visit to Meditarranean Shipping Company, the Managing Director, Mr Andrew Lynch, said deplorable access to port was one of the challenges facing their operations.
He affirmed their readiness to abide by NSC’s regulatory activities at the ports.