Port congestion leaves 40 ships waiting at anchorage
At least 40 ships calling at the Tin-Can Island Port, Lagos have been left stranded at anchorage as port terminals are unable to discharge new cargoes due to clogging of the port access roads.
Evacuation of cargo out of the port has suffered setbacks due to the traffic gridlock caused by trucks that are permanently parked on the port access roads.
It has been noted lately that the devanning of cargoes along the port axis has also contributed to making it almost impossible for vehicular movement.
Also, there have been allegations of extortions by security operatives and the task force team, who are supposed to ensure sanity along the port corridors, but collect tolls from the truck operators and allowing chaos to reign.
As the situation causes chaos, it makes it almost impossible for trucks to take out cargoes to their destination thereby creating congestion in the port terminals.
Speaking on the situation on Tuesday, Managing Director of Port & Cargo Handling Services, John Jenkins, expressed great concern over the avoidable challenge in cargo delivery.
He said, “Transfer of containers by road is almost not in existence because the road is blocked and you can’t get containers out. The problem is the road. If the problem of the road is solved, the problem inside the port will be solved. Before we never had block stack containers because the cargo used to move freely but not anymore now.
“There are in excess of 40 vessels at anchorage. At Port & Cargo, we could only bring seven alongside now. Last month, we kept one of the MSC vessels there for four days because they could not discharge and this month, we have kept vessels for more than two days already because we don’t know where to put the containers.
“I have worked in this port industry all my life; I have never seen roads like this. We could form a palliative solution. We are not happy; we got people losing their means of livelihood everyday because of the poor condition of the road.”
He, however, added that: “We move over 8,000 TEUs a month by barges. So when people say we are not moving quickly enough on barges, I refute that. Because of congestion inside the terminal, everyone wants to make use of the barges. I do not agree that we are not moving enough but we can do more.”