By Steve Agbota
Freight forwarders under the aegis of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (100 per cent Compliance Team) have threatened to withdraw their services over an alleged multitude of extortions by shipping lines in Nigeria. The freight forwarders allegedly lose over N50 million everyday due to various multiple of extortions by shipping lines.
In a notification on withdrawal of services addressed to the managing directors of all shipping companies operating in Nigeria, National Coordinator of NAGAFF 100 per cent Compliance Team, Ibrahim Tanko, said shipping lines are not interested in the welfare of freight forwarders or Nigerians.
He accused the shipping companies of using dubious means, which include the transfer of containers against freight forwarders’ wish, consent, or approval of consignee; depletion of container deposit refunds, to extort freight forwarders.
He said other means of ripping off the freight forwarders by the shipping companies are detention invoice; undue debiting of their clients; unnecessary extortion of importers of up to N150,000 before dropping empty containers; and causing disputes between freight forwarders and their transporters/clients.
According to him, shipping companies use their negligence or lack of capacity to foist on freight forwarders undue equipment detention charges, ranging from N200,000 per 1×40ft and N100,000 per 1×20ft multiplied by over 1, 000 containers per day. However, he demanded that shipping companies pay transporters’ compensation for using their trucks as holding bay for days and weeks. He said the NAGAFF Compliance Team would no longer be induced or coerced into arresting its transporters over misunderstandings, bordering on missing containers.