Maersk suspends peak season surcharge after protest by Shippers’ council

Mary Ugbodaga

Maersk, an international shipping line, has directed its commercial department in Nigeria to stop applying the peak season surcharge (PSS) from Tuesday, September 1, 2020. 

The directive was issued in a letter signed by Lara Lana, managing director of Maersk Nigeria, and addressed to Hassan Bello, executive secretary/ CEO of the Nigerian Shipper’s Council (NSC).

“Our principals in our head office have informed us of your letter with subject reference increase in PSS,” the letter read.

“Maersk Line has instructed its commercial department to stop applying the PSS from September 1, 2020.


“This is in response to protests by the NSC which recently convened a meeting of the OPS to deliberate on the astronomical PSS imposed by shipping lines calling in Nigeria.

“The Union of African Shippers’ Council (UASC), subsequently backed NSC calls for immediate suspension of the PSS calling it a violation of previous UASC/European Community Ship-owners’ Association (ECSA) agreement requiring prior, mutual and reasonable notification of UASC and Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) by individual shipping companies before any such imposition of a new tariff, surcharges or increase in transport cost.

“We would like to thank you for the supporting document you shared, shedding light on the meeting between the ECSA and UASC.”


The international shipping liners had planned to place over $1000 surcharge on twenty-foot (20ft) and forty-foot (40ft) containers coming into Nigeria ports, this is a 400 percent increase from the previous $200 freight charged during peak period.

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