Congestion looms at Lagos ports — as  terminal operators resort to container stacking for lack of space

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Congestion looms at Lagos ports  — as  terminal operators resort to container stacking for lack of space
Abiola Seun

There are now heightened fears among freight forwarders over looming port congestion at the Lagos ports.

Their anxiety is based on the fact that terminal operators at the ports have now resorted to container stacking due to space constraint at their various terminals.
To this end, stakeholders have condemned the practice of block stacking containers up  to seven levels by  terminal operators which they regarded as an ominous sign for  imminent port congestion.

This is even as the stakeholders slammed terminal opertors over the claim that importers and their agents are responsible for congestions at their terminals.

The stakeholders noted that the high stacking of containers not only slows down the speed of positioning cargoes for examination but also clogs  delivery process of consignments.

Confirming the development, the immediate past National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, (ANLCA) Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said that most terminal operators now stack their containers seven-level to accommodate the excess containers.

According to Shittu, “Nothing is normal anymore in Nigeria Ports, nothing is normal. That is why APM Terminal can come out to blame importers and agents for creating a glut in their terminal, forgetting that they and other terminal operators are the ones that are double stacking like you just pointed out.

“It takes longer time for anybody to get a container for examination now; sometimes more than a week from the time you apply for it. When a container is laying down under six other containers, they have to remove the six containers above before recovering the seventh. We have lost it, nothing is working”, Shittu lamented.

Similarly, former President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, (NAGAFF), Eugene Nweke, said that such level of stacking of containers is a sign that congestion was mounting.

He, therefore, called on the Nigerian Ports Authority, ,(NPA) and the terminal operators to take measures to stave off the impending crisis.

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