Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Maersk Line Nigeria Limited and other shipping companies in Nigeria have been charged by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to ensure prompt refund of container deposits within the agreed period of ten days.
The shipping companies are also advised to ensure twenty-four hours of port operation, incorporate a multimodal approach to cargo delivery, full digitization of operational processes for greater efficiency, and effective management of return of empty containers.
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Hon. Emmanuel Jime gave the advice in Lagos yesterday when he led the agency on a courtesy visit to Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
Seeking their cooperation and collaboration in a bid to drive efficiency, transparency and effectiveness of port processes, Jime called on the companies to adhere to government directives on the evacuation of empty containers out of the country, stop charging the consignees demurrage within the period of network down and must give adequate notification on the arrival of vessels and stemming of containers to shippers.
He urged the operators to ensure the continuity of the robust relationship they are having with NSC.
The NSC boss admonished the shipping companies to operate and conduct their operations within the regulatory framework of the Council, adding that they are expected to give NSC team unfettered access to monitor their operations to ensure compliance to set standards.
Jime charged shipping companies to ensure that their charges or fees collected are tied to service rendered in order to stem exploitative tendencies and arbitrariness.
He also advised the shipping companies to put in place a Customer Care Desk to handle timely every issue and complaint on service delivery.
“There should be frequent interaction with customers,” said the Council’s helmsman who called for full digitization of operational processes for greater efficiency, effective management of return of empty container.
In her response, the Managing Director, Maersk Line, Lara Lana expressed delight that NSC paid the visit. She lauded the Council for calling for the establishment of a Customers Desk. NSC, she said, was the only agency that placed the interest of their customers at the forefront.
She noted that Maersk Line has created mobile applications for their customers to aid operations.
The Managing Director of Mediterranean Shipping Company, Mr. Andrew Lynch said deplorable access to the port was one of the challenges facing their operations. He affirmed their readiness to abide by NSC’s regulatory activities at the ports.