The cost of cargo haulage from the Lagos ports has dropped by about 70 percent in the last one months, importers and operators have said.
It was however learnt that the drop was due to a drastic drop in cargo throughput into Nigeria during the period owing to some factors.
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Daily Trust checks revealed that the cost of moving a 20 feet container from any of the ports in Lagos to any part of Lagos by truck which used to be between N750,000 and N800,000 now fluctuates between N200,000 and N350,000, which is about 65 to 70% drop from the period rate as of July 2021.
It was learnt that some of the factors that account for the decline in imports include off-season for imports, after-effect of COVID-19 and the free fall of the naira to dollar.
It was also gathered that the traffic situation in and out of Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports, has improved in the last two months, according to some Customs Licensed Clearing agents. They also said more can be achieved than the present status.
One of the multiple checkpoints has been dismantled but some still exist along the Mile 2-Coconut axis of the road, the agents said.
Chief Remi Ogungbemi of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), said the drop in charges is due to low cargo imports since the COVID-19 and scarcity of foreign exchange.
He said truck owners who before now carried over five or more containers in a month are now struggling to get one.
“So there is this struggle to get business among truck owners. This situation has forced truckers to crash their prices. The amount usually paid is also dependent on a lot of factors. Some of which are the weight of cargo, type and distance among others,” he said.
Chief Ogungbemi further revealed that there have been remarkable improvements in the rehabilitation of access roads to the seaports.
According to him, the turnaround time for picking and dropping containers has reduced from the previous month to about a week.
“Though most of the numerous checkpoints have been dismantled, some still exist. These points are what slow down the movement of trucks,” he added.
A clearing agent, Abdul Subaru, who operates at Tin-Can Island Port, said transport cost within Apapa has gone down from N250,000 to N100,000 while within Alaba International Market, Ojo it is now N220,000 and to Ikeja area N350,000.
President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Clearing Agents (ANLCA), Prince Tony Iju, said though haulage cost has declined, it might increase from September which is regarded as peak season for businesses.
“Import is low and many transporters are running after the few available cargo. This has forced them to crash prices,” he added.