CMA CGM also bows to pressure, suspends Peak Season Charges

CMA CGM also bows to pressure, suspends Peak Season Charges

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) battle against arbitrariness, particularly the controversial hike of peak season charges by foreign shipping companies may have secured another victory, as another company, CMA CGM has contacted the Shippers Council, agreeing to suspend the controversial hike.

The Council’s Head, Public Relations, Rakiya Zubairu confirmed this on Tuesday, highlighting that theFrench Container Transportation and Shipping Company CMA CGM has followed in the footsteps of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) in announcing the suspension of the application of the peak season surcharge on ships calling in Nigeria, with effect from 1st October, 2020.

It would be recalled that the Mediterranean Shipping Company had earlier suspended the application of the surcharge with effect from 1st September 2020 as a result of protests by Shippers’ Council and Stakeholders.

Six foreign shipping companies had come together and initiated a Peak period hike, raising charges which normally should be about $200 per container, to about $1000 and above, and drawing the Council’s anger, and resulting in a sustained protest by the Council’s Boss, Barrister Hassan Bello.

Bello, in addition to promptly taking up the issue with the Union of African Shippers Council (UASC), also escalated it to the Federal Government, as well as the relevant stakeholders, including the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, including the NACCIMA.

Industry watchers generally agreed that the gesture was capable of igniting spiralling inflation if the Council had not totally opposed it. The resistance was based on the Shippers Council mandate as ports economic regulator.

“The suspension of the peak season surcharge was contained in a letter sent to the Executive Secretary/CEO of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Mr Hassan Bello”, indicated Mrs. Rakiya Zubairu on Tuesday, adding that the letter emanated from the Head Office of CMA CGM in Marseilles France.

In the meantime, the Acting AIG, Marine Command, CP Anduson Bankole has visited the NSC Executive Secretary, Hassan Bello, with a pledge to support the Council’s efforts and effectiveness.

Source: maritimefirstnewspaper September 9, 2020

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