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In Lagos Agents, importers now pay more on demurrage, container deposits

Following the gridlock on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway occasioned by the dilapidation of the road, importers and agents now pay more for demurrage and return of their empty containers, Daily Sun reported.

According to an agent, who spoke to Daily Sun on the condition of anonymity, the shipping firms make it difficult for them to return their empties because they want the agents to lose their deposits. The agent said that before they take delivery of their cargo, they would deposit N100,000 for each container, which they are expected to return within a given time-frame. If they fail to do so at a record time, they would lose their deposit.

However, the loss, he said, has become a recurring decimal because of bad road. In the event of returning these containers, the drivers spend two weeks or more between Mile Two and Tin Can and the shipping companies will not consider the frustration. All they want is their deposit.

Worse still, when the drivers get to the security gate of the companies they are forced to bribe their way before they are allowed to  drop their empty contianers.

“Because of the nature of the road now, we,  the terminal operators find it difficult to drop our empty containers. Our drivers, sometimes,  spend two weeks or 10 days on the road. On getting to the point of dropping the empties, they will be told that such empties are no longer accepted in that terminal or that they don’t have space for that particular shipping company. When you insist, they will ask you to part with something,” he said.  

Furthermore, he said, “when our driver went to drop two of our containers, they said they no longer accept Maskline containers.

“But if he insists, he can give them N22,000 for the two containers in the truck. This is outside the deposit for these containers.

“For a 20ft container, we deposit N100,000 and 40ft container attracts N200,000. If the drivers are not able to return the containers at the appointed time, they will charge demurrage knowing full well that the road is not accessible,” he said.


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One thought on “In Lagos Agents, importers now pay more on demurrage, container deposits

  1. Thanks for that, Grayfox. The more I hear people talk about burying shipping containers the more I”m starting to dislike them. The idea of the containers being used in such a manner, not the people. LOL! If we”re not really careful they COULD end up being more of a tomb than anything else. Seems to be more trouble than it”s worth. We may be trying to put the proverbial square peg in the round hole. What I”m hearing is that shipping containers are designed for one thing and that is NOT being buried. They just will not bear the static pressure on the sides and the top. Then let”s make a left turn and think about a completely different solution if we do want to bury some kind of a metal container to be safe against emp. What about burying something like a metal Quonset hut? They already have a curved top which should be strong enough to support a reasonable amount of dirt piled on top of it. They”re already designed as a habitat which a shipping container isn”t. And as far as I know Quonset huts can be built in sections. And those sections should be easy enough to seal against moisture and emp. Let me know what you guys think.

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