Bonded warehouse in Nigeria is probably a new term to people outside container logistics. To people in the logistics supply chain, bonded warehouse in Nigeria is a common, everyday sight. What exactly do we mean by bonded warehouse in Nigeria? How do one acquire a bonded warehouse in Nigeria? What relation is there between a bonded warehouse and the seaports? Additionally, how does a bonded warehouse in Nigeria differ from inland dry port, off-dock terminal, and on-dock terminal?
Answers to the questions posed above is what necessitated the putting together of this article. Some of my friends and clients have used terms such as inland terminal and bonded warehouse interchangeably. I have even heard some people say things like bonded terminal. This article will enlighten the public on correct usage of terms. We will understand the difference between a warehouse and a terminal.
In addition, this article will define terms like on-dock terminal, off-dock terminal, inland dry port, etc. further, we will enlist the requirements to acquire bonded warehouse.
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BONDED WAREHOUSE IN NIGERIA: WHAT EXACTLY DOES IT MEAN?
First, a warehouse is a depository, a storehouse for keeping goods, equipment and materials before distribution or sales. In cargo logistics, a warehouse stores goods before or after Customs clearance. A bonded warehouse is a warehouse that has bond with the Customs. Imported goods are stored in a bonded warehouse until Customs receive applicable duty. In Nigeria, bonded warehouses store groupage containers. Importers of less than container loads clear and receive their cargos from bonded warehouse.
IS BONDED WAREHOUSE THE SAME AS TERMINAL?
A shipping terminal is a structure or facility with infrastructure to handle goods, cargo or containers. ‘Handle’ means operations such as loading, unloading, stacking, storage, etc. terminals are either within the port or off the port area. In Nigeria context, a bonded warehouse is not a terminal. The bonded warehouse in Nigeria receives groupage containers from terminals. Hence, the term “bonded terminal” is a terminal that is Customs controlled.
Consequently, bonded terminal has to do with full containers the same way bonded warehouse deals with less than container loads.
ON-DOCK, OFF-DOCK TERMINALS AND INLAND DRY PORT
On dock terminal is a terminal located within the port area. Goods or containers are offload from the vessel and moved to the on-dock terminal via trucks or other means. At the On-deck, such goods are stored until the importer takes delivery.
Off-dock terminal is located outside port area, but not so far as to be an inland dry port. In Nigeria, off-dock is an extension from the port and is subject to all Customs requirement. Usually, off-dock terminal receives full container loads, while bonded warehouse takes up groupage container. Groupage containers is a consolidation of pieces of less than container loads.
INLAND DRY PORT
Inland dry port is a port in the hinterland of a country. Despite being in the inland area of the country, away from the coast the port is equipped to handle Customs brokerage activities.
Usually, goods and cargos are transport to and from the Inland dry port via rail and road. In Nigeria, inland dry port is an extension of the seaport. The overall aim is to bring port activities to the hinterland.
Thus, importers and exporters living in the hinterland receive cargoes at Inland dry port just as the coastal areas receive cargoes at the seaport.
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A friend from another country defined off dock terminal as “a customs bonded depot that stores full containers before it is cleared by the customer.” He added, “This is usually a private depot contracted by the shipping line to store their containers and is outside of the port area but not very far.” Technically speaking, this might be very correct. In Nigeria, we tend to reserve the term bonded warehouse to what some countries call container freight stations. These stations handle only less than container loads.
Therefore, the difference between a terminal and a bonded warehouse in Nigeria is clear. Every terminal is equipped with storage facility – a warehouse. A bonded warehouse not necessarily a terminal.
In my next article, we will look out the requirements for owning a bonded warehouse.
Finally, if you choose to say inland container depot (ICD) in place of inland dry port it is a matter of nomenclature. Similarly, some folks say off-dock and on-dock container depots.