Investigation carried out by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY revealed that containers are allowed to sit free of charge for the first three days of their arrival at the port while a paltry $4.2 (N672) is charged per day for the next nine days by the terminal operators at both ports. The storage charge is however progressive as it rises to N4,400 after the first twelve days of arrival and to N6,000 per day after another nine days.
“The argument is simple. There is a proven link between the storage rate level and the dwell time at the port; the higher the storage, the lower the dwell time and vice versa. Low storage charges encourage long dwell time which may lead to port congestion,” Adeshina said.
Further checks by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY revealed that it costs an average of N55,000 per day to store one TEU at a commercial warehouse outside the port environment in Apapa while the storage cost of similar container in Ikeja is about N75,000 per day.
After an extensive study of other ports, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY can authoritatively reveal that storage charges at Nigerian ports rank lowest among their peers in the world. At Mombassa Port in Kenya, the first four days of the container arrival is storage free while a charge of $30 (N4,800) per day is applied for the next three days; Gothenberg Port, Sweden grants free storage charge for the first three days of the container arrival and applies storage charge of $15 for another three days while Port Elizabeth, New York/New Jersey in the United States of America has the first four days of arrival as storage free and charges $136 per day subsequently. Sydney Port, Australia charges $80 per day after an initial rent free period of three days.
Details of the progressive charges at the various ports and the dwell time of containers are published in the table below.
An importer, Chief Afred Egbunnike, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that importers and agents abandon their containers at the port for a long time because they are looking for money to clear the goods. He also said that cumbersome clearing process at the port coupled with graft make it impossible to clear consignments in good time from the port.
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