Freight forwarders accuse TICT of deliberately delaying cargo delivery
** Give management 48 hrs to recall suspended staff
By Mcanthony Onuoha
Freight forwarders in the Maritime industry have accused the Managing Director of Tincan Island Container Terminal (TICT) of deliberately delaying cargo delivery for selfish reasons.
Recently, the MD of TICT, Tincan Port, Mr. Rocher Etienne, approved the sack and suspension of capable hands, leaving the company with very few staff who now struggle to meet up with a huge work load.
As at 3pm on Saturday, no freight forwarder has collected Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) from the terminal operator.
Freight Forwarders have alleged that the sack and suspension of TICT staff by the management was done based on selfish interest, as it is targeted at defrauding importers via avoidable accumulation of demurrage.
According to the report available to The Prestige Magazine, a good number of TICT staff have been sacked by the management because of their objection to the MD’s instruction directing them to commence the collection of container deposits for Maersk line, a directive considered to be roundly inappropriate. One might be forced to want to know why the MD gave such instruction since it is not the job of terminal operators to collect container deposit for shipping companies. This, according to the report, is one of the reasons a good number of TICT staff considered by freight forwarders as “best hands” were recently relieved of their jobs.
The affected freight forwarders who beseeched the terminal on Saturday (today), called on the Managing Director, Mr. Rocher Etienne and the Human Resource Manager, Mr. Rapheal Ugbe, to immediately recall the suspended staff or risk losing their customers. One of them who spoke under anonymity, described the action of the MD as criminal, stating that no sane manager of any company can suspend his staff when there are no sufficient number of workers to attend to customers, knowing full well the consequences of such decision.
According to the freight forwarder, “as at 3pm today, no single TDO has been collected by any agent because almost all their workers are on suspension, people can not take their consignments, and the delay, you know very well, translates to avoidable additional demurrage which the owners of the consignments will be compelled to pay.”
The Chairman of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders- NAGAFF, KLT Chapter, Engr. Emmanuel Umeadi, who was among those that spoke to our correspondent, lashed out at the management of the terminal describing the suspension of TICT’s “capable hands” as a display of gross insensitivity and deliberate ploy to defraud importers of their hard earned money via additional demurrage.
Umeadi complained that his boys were at the terminal as early as 9AM and were yet to collect a single TDO as at 3pm (Saturday).
” We are compelling the management of TICT to as a matter of urgency, recall the suspended workers or risk losing their customers. We shall print fliers and embark on serious de-marketing of TICT, freight forwarders will have no choice but to advise their importers to boycott the terminal to avoid losing their investments, we are giving them 48 hours to recall suspended workers.”
“Furthermore, we are demanding the refund of all demurrage paid for this deliberate delay. TICT must refund the money because impoters can not lose their money because of poor decision taken by the management”.
“We are going to demarket TICT by redirecting our clients to other terminals. Jobs are piling up because efficient and experienced hands are on suspension. Freight forwarders are being deliberately punished by TICT.”
“Besides, TICT is also overating shipments in their custody and agents whose consignments were overrated that took delivery on time should be called for their refund, they should be given back their balance without further delay !” Umeadi stated.
A couple of calls put across to the MD to hear his own side of the story were all ignored.