Container transportation: AMATO chairman calls for safety consciousness

Chief Remi Ogungbemi, Chairman of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) has called on all parties involved in the haulage chain to consider safety first, to guide against incidences of falling containers.

In an interview on Thursday in Lagos, Ogungbemi spoke on the backdrop of a loaded container that fell off a truck in Apapa on Wednesday afternoon and expressed worry over the frequency of the incidences.

“This has been happening and we are not happy at all when a cargo is not delivered to its destination safely.

“But a lot can be done if everyone involved in the operation gets more safety-conscious,” he said.

He hoped that latest efforts in rehabilitation of the roads within the port city would reduce the incidence of containers falling.

The incidence created a traffic gridlock in Apapa, leaving commuters and motorists alike stranded for hours into the evening.

It would be recalled that while similar situation persisted earlier in 2014, Ogungbemi spoke, attributing the incessant falling –off of loaded containers from trucks to overloading and bad roads.

He blamed the deplorable state of the roads, saying the conditions had made trucking of containers a very dangerous business on the high ways across the nation.

According to him, an investigation by AMATO showed that recorded incidences came from rickety and dilapidated truck.

Ogungbemi also said identified the absence of weigh bridges at loading points as a great danger to the haulage operations.

According to him, “a lot of containers are falling off trucks because there are no regulations. Some trucks are not supposed to carry more than 10 tons but you see them carrying between 20 and 30 tons.

“Such containers will definitely fall off, but it is not the fault of the truck owner because there are no weighbridges to weigh the containers,” he said.

He also faulted the attitudes of some clients for declaring false weight in order to pay less for the goods they want to transport.

“The truck customers also contribute to the problem because they want to pay less.
“They present papers to say it is a light load, but by the time the truck is loaded you will discover it is different from their claim,” he said.

He promised that the association would work to ensure effective regulations for improvement.