COSCO Responds to NPA Suspension


COSCO has hit back against the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), insisting it complies with all local and regional regulations in the country, after it and three other container shipping companies were suspended over a failure to utilize holding bays.

The Chinese firm received a 10-day suspension on the July 14, along with Maersk, Lagos and Nigeria Shipping Agencies Limited (LANSAL) and the African Port Services (APS).

In a statement on July 14, NPA said that the four liners were either unable to utilize holding bays or handle container volumes.

It continued: “Some of these companies have also been found to import a larger number of containers than empty containers exported thereby making the country a dumping ground for empties.”

In a response to the action that denied all allegations, COSCO claimed that the low efficiency was down to an ongoing truckers’ strike.

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COSCO stated: “We herewith declare that COSCO SHIPPING Lines and its Nigerian office strictly complies with local laws and regulations, and keep in close communication with local authorities, all vessel operation as scheduled, without any negatively impact in the past and the future.

“Regarding our previous official notification, COSOCO SHIPPING Lines has informed that low terminal operation efficiency is due to the strike of truck drivers.”

Maersk, the world’s biggest container line, also denied the NPA’s charge in an advisory sent to its clients on July 19.

It said: “It is misguiding for the Nigerian Ports Authority  to suspend Maersk Nigeria Limited for failing to acquire and operate holding bays for empty containers as Maersk Nigeria Limited operates four holding bays within the Lagos environ with a storage capacity of 8,150 TEUs which is more than 50 per cent  of the discharge average.

“Maersk Nigeria Limited has complied fully with this directive and followed the call-pp protocol for use of the holding bays stipulated by the NPA.”

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