The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) on Wednesday urged Mr Klaus Laursen, Country Manager, APM Terminals, to ensure that tariffs are tied to services rendered.
The Executive Secretary, NSC, Mr Emmanuel Jime, gave the advice when he paid a courtesy visit to the terminal in Lagos.
According to Jime, when all tariffs are tied to services rendered, arbitrary charges are avoided.
“Part of our core mandate has to do with cost, and we are very concerned about how we can modernise cost, so we are urging APM Terminals to partner with us to put down cost of services.
“All cost and tariff headings must be justified as government, that is, the shippers council, give approval to.
“Services need to be rendered adequately and timely so that it will impact on the cost and business,” he said.
On operational issues, Jime encouraged the terminal to ensure that they are fully digitalised.
He said that less human interface in business places which would guarantee more success was needed in the 21st century.
The executive secretary said that the council was in the business of advocating multimodal means of transportation.
He urged the terminal to make provision for equipment that would accommodate the multimodal means.
On the issue of containers booked for examination, Jime requested that boxes should be positioned at least 36 hours, maximum.
“For effective management of return of empty container, the terminal should create a window without obstruction into the terminal and adequate information on space for empty containers should be given to the council,” he said.
Jime stressed the need for a customer care desk that would work with the council and enable them to handle complaints on service delivery easily.
He said that the council should be granted unfettered access to the terminal when on official duty.
According to him, they should have statistics and data which would be used to adequately advice the Nigerian government as far as the industry was concerned.
“I like to appreciate you and your management for the investment that you have already done and will continue to do; there are changes seen, and I am impressed with all I have seen already.
“All I can say to you now is that we seek your cooperation as usual so that we can sustain the laudable improvement in service delivery.
“We run an open policy and we all are available to ensure that investment made here benefits not only the investor but everyone,” he said.
Responding, Laursen noted that cargo dwell time that went down towards the end of last year had gone up again.
He said the increase in dwell time was due to traffic on port access road, poor documentation and customs procedures.
“We need to keep in mind that we need to facilitate trade the more and we have lots of room for improvement, however, the cargo dwell time has started increasing.
“We make money through storage but, when the terminal is filled and terminal can no longer take more cargoes, then we won’t be able to discharge vessels anymore.
“We saw a lot of improvement last year, but now, it has started going up; we want the containers out as fast as possible”. NAN