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Shippers Council to introduce new guidelines for haulage operators at ports

Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has concluded plans to introduce new guidelines
for all haulage operators in the nation’s seaports.

The guidelines will be according to global standard practices for companies
into haulage business.
Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello who disclosed this to the
executive members of the League of Maritime Publishers and Editors during a visit
to his office, explained that the new measure was to ensure efficiency in the
ports system as far as haulage is concerned.
Under the guideline, truck owners involved in haulage services would have
registered company with at least a minimum of six trucks, insurance cover for
goods on transit, tracking devices for the trucks.
He said that any company which does not have the capacity to own six trucks
would not be allowed to operate.
Bello however explained that the implementation of the new guideline would be carried
out gradually.
Noting that Nigeria already has some good haulage companies, he said, there was
the need for more that will be able to handle project cargo.
Bello said, “We are going to have conditions for operating a haulage company.
We are going to have a minimum of six trucks for a company. A company will have
a registered office, an insurance cover for goods on transit and a tracking
device for the trucks…. Any company that does not have the capacity to own six
trucks will not be allowed to operate. Its implementation will be gradually
“Even now, there are some good trucking companies, but we need to have more of
them. Nigeria is going to have a lot of project cargo in import and export but
we need the trucking system to be organized. We are expecting that in three
years time everything would have taken shape.”
Bello said that the Council expects serious competition under new guideline,
adding that the current cost of haulage services was alarming.
For instance, he said that it takes N1 million for a truck to take goods to
But he added that this would go down with the planned rail system, stating that
with rail services, the cost could be N300,000.00.
He expressed optimism that the current issues of congestion and bad road in the
ports will soon be over by the end of this year.
“The roads would have been fixed to a reasonable extent and the congestion
would have stopped,” he said.
Bello gave an indication that the guideline is coming with the completion of
the road rehabilitation work in Apapa.
“So when we have the roads done we are going to re-fleet the trucks. We are
going to have conditions for operating a haulage company”, he said.
The NSC CEO also disclosed that the shipping companies have decided to withdraw
their case against the Council on the issue of shipping line charges before the
Supreme Court.
Bello said this will lead to 25 percent reduction in tariff by the shipping
companies as being negotiated by the ports economic regulator.
He further explained, ”Recall that the Council had written to the terminals and
shipping companies on the need to reduce the terminal and shipping line
charges, and now the shipping companies have agreed to reduce their charges in
line with the notice. 
“They said they would abide by it and withdraw the case in
Supreme Court. So it is the penalty for the charges that we are talking about
that is the 25 percent of the total monetary worth. So with this we talking
about 25 per cent decrease in port charges. It is remaining the terminals. 
need to get the terminals to comply with this. Because if we go to the Supreme
Court and win there will be trouble. The terminals will be shut down because
they can’t pay over a trillion naira and remain in business or not suffer.”
Bello further explained why other critical stakeholders need to be part of the
port review exercise being carried out by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),
saying that this was because what happens at the ports affects every sector of
the economy and Nigerians.
“You need to bring stevedores, truckers, insurance, shippers, freight
forwarders, Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), which is also a party, so you cannot
run an agreement when you also have obligations. 
“This is an open society, so
you cannot manipulate things, whatever you do will affect the larger society.
That is why we are suffering now. That agreement was hidden from Shippers
council for than one year after it was signed. 
“Everybody was hiding it just
like the charter party agreement of the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation(NNPC). They hide it and say it belongs to them. No. It belongs to
Nigerians! It is meant for the people to see and comment on areas for
improvement,” he said. 
Shipping Day

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