The period before the creation of Nigerian Shippers’ Council in 1978 was characterized by deteriorating quality of shipping services and unmitigated increases in Ocean freight rates by foreign ship owners who operated scheduled liner services to Nigerian ports.
Acting under a powerful cartel of Conference Lines arrangement, shipping companies unilaterally imposed freight rate increases, which averaged between twenty five per cent (25%) and thirty per cent (30%) per annum along three notable shipping ranges:
These increases were in addition to stifling port surcharges that the conferences equally imposed on the nation’s economy.
Transport is a critical determinant in the conduct of international trade and impacts on national economies. The availability, quality, cost, and efficiency of transport services influence the trading environment and the competitiveness of export goods on the international market as well as the cost of imported goods.
In this regard, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council serves as an agent for economic development through interventions in cost moderation and cargo transport issues resulting in positive impact on inflationary trends in the country.