Importers to Pay More as Shipping Firm Slams $700 Fresh Surcharge

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Eromosele Abiodun

Despite protest by clearing agents over excessive charges by shipping companies operating in Nigeria, a shipping company, Hapag-Lloyd has increased its freight rate, with the review of its Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) on all container types originating from anywhere in the world to Tin Can Island, and Apapa ports in Lagos, Nigeria.

In practice, PSS functions like the General Rate Increase (GRI). It is usually announced as an additional fee on top of the base rate, although it may be cancelled or mitigated at a lower rate.

The German-based firm, which is the fifth largest shipping company in the world, in a memo to importers, said a 20-foot and 40-foot containers from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau would now attract a surcharge of $700 (N252, 000) PSS each, while those from United States of America (USA) and U.S. territories would pay $700 each from March 15 and those coming from the rest of the world would pay €610 (N274,500) on the consignment.

The review, the company said, was to enable it, “maintain a continued high level of service.”
“The growing demand leads to lack of space on vessels and increasing costs for supplying sufficient equipment. Carriers can implement this surcharge any time and at any level until further notice, “the company added.
Hapag-Lloyd, said the PSS would become effective from March 1, 2019, until further notice for all origins (excluding USA).

It added that consignments from USA would also pay PSS from March 15, 2019 until further notice.

According to the company, a 20-foot and 40-foot containers from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau would pay $700 PSS each, while those from USA and U.S. territories would pay $700 each from March 15 and those coming from the rest of the world would pay €610 on the consignment.

The leading shipping firm in the country, Maersk had also recently introduced PSS which took effect from February 15th, but excluded TinCan, Apapa and Onne Ports in Nigeria.

It stated: “Maersk is introducing the PSS for all cargo from Pakistan to West Africa countries (excluding Tin Can Island Port, NG, Apapa, NG and Onne, NG) with effective from 15th February 2019.”
Hapag-Lloyd had also in November last year introduced PSS for all container types to Nigeria at the rate of $505 and $450 each.

The company has a fleet of 222 modern container ships and a total transport capacity of 1.6 million TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit).