The shipping giant, Maersk Nigeria, has acknowledged the receipt of a letter sent to it by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), requesting for the stoppage of the peak season surcharge.
However, according to The Daily Leaks findings, the shipping firm was yet to take a decision on the request, and had not suspended the shipping surcharge as earlier circulated by a section of the media.
An earlier published report by a section of the media had claimed that Maersk Nigeria had instructed its commercial department to stop applying the peak season surcharge from September 1, 2020, but which was found to be a misinterpretation of the company’s response letter to NSC on the subject matter.
Maersk Nigeria, had, in a letter dated August 27, 2020, addressed to the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, and signed by its Managing Director, Lara Lana, had stated that it would communicate its decision within the next seven days at the latest.
The letter read: “As earlier communicated, our principals in our Head Office have informed us of your letter with subject reference increase in peak season surcharge.’
“We would also like to thank you for the supporting document you shared shedding light on the meeting between the ECSA and UASC.
“As informed, our Head Office would be coordinating the response directly to you. Please expect to get a response within the next seven days at the latest.”
The NSC had earlier called for the suspension of the peak season surcharge, which shipping lines in Nigeria said it had implemented to cover for the cost of running the business in the country, as many of the goods overstay with them before they are cleared by their owners.
This, plus the lack of space at the ports which the shipping lines said had caused them to incur a lot of costs on transporting the goods to places they can be safely kept until they are cleared by customers, it was said be also part of the reasons for the surcharge.
However, the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), earlier on Monday, in a statement signed by its Head of Public Relations of the Rakiya Zubairu, said, the Union of African Shippers’ Council (UASC), had backed its call for immediate suspension of the peak season surcharge.
“Following the protest by the NSC over the Peak Season Surcharge imposed by foreign shipping lines, the Union of African Shippers’ Council (UASC), subsequently backed the NSC’s call for immediate suspension of the peak season surcharge calling it a violation of previous UASC/European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA) agreement, which requires prior, mutual and reasonable notification of UASC and PMAWCA by individual shipping companies before any such imposition of a new tariff, surcharges or increase in transport cost is introduced,” the NSC statement read.