Shipping Quarter and Outlook: First Half 2018 was good – Shippers’ Authority

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The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has released the Shipping Quarter and Outlook for January to June 2018 covering the performance in the shipping and trade industry in Ghana for the first half, and the situation for the remainder of the year.

The Shipping Quarter and Outlook is an engagement event that offers a platform for management of the Authority to interact with the media for the release of timely, authentic and accurate information on the shipping industry, in particular maritime trade performance.

The Chief Executive Officer of the GSA, Benonita Bismarck, said the period in review has witnessed “a good performance in Ghana’s Maritime Trade” reflecting the growing confidence in the country’s economy.

“The outlook for the next half year looks bright. It is therefore predicted that, barring any unforeseen situations, Ghana’s cargo throughput for 2018 should grow by not less than 10 percent.

“It is the expectation of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority that this momentum will continue and as all stakeholders continue to play their respective roles to ensure a facilitated trade for the shipper and improved revenue for the State,” she stated.

The report indicates that Cargo throughput in Ghana for the first half of the year posted an increase of 14.3% compared to the same period last year. Total import and export trade volume in first quarter 2018 saw a 14.44% increase from last yea,r having recorded a metric tonnes of 11,182,540 as against 9,771,533. Total transit/transhipment trade volume in first quarter 2018 also increased by 11.49%, moving from 512,187 to 571,054.

On Import Trade, total imports for the period under review  was 7.16 million metric tonnes, comprising 2.93 million metric tonnes of Liner Cargo, 863,751 metric tonnes of Break Bulk, 1,708,944 metric tonnes of Dry Bulk cargo and 1,656,733 metric tonnes of Liquid Bulk imports.

Total Export Trade volume for first quarter 2018 amounts to 4.03 million metric tonnes, representing 33.5% increase over same period last year. It includes 1,173,024 metric tonnes of Liner Items, 148,972 metric tonnes of Break Bulk items, 2,560,776 metric tonnes of Dry Bulk and 144,023 metric tonnes of Liquid Bulk.

Majority of Ghana’s seaborne imports for the first quarter 2018 came from the Far East range, representing about 27% of the total import trade. Africa was next with 25% share of Ghana’s imports – an increase of 10.4% over last year’s figure. Commodities imported from the Africa Range which experienced significant increase were Petroleum Products, Clinker and Crude Oil.

Demurrage payments by shippers at the Tema and Takoradi ports recorded a decline in the first half of 2018. Total demurrage payments in the period under review amounted to $28,512,541, representing a 25.9% decrease compared to the first quarter of 2017 which was $38,494,314.

The CEO attributed this achievement to the priority given to shipper education and sensitization which saw the Authority engaging with trade associations including Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and other Shippers across the country on the need to avoid demurrage and rent.

“If shippers are able to clear their cargo generally within the first Seven days free period, they do not have to pay demurrage or rent charges.

“Unfortunately, rent payments by shippers at the Tema and Takoradi ports recorded a rise in the first half of 2018. Total rent payments in the first half of 2018 amounted to Ghc22,699,488, representing an 11.9% increase compared to the first half of 2017 which was Ghc20,292,755. There is the need for increased shipper education and sensitization in the area of non-containerised cargo such as unpacked vehicles and other general cargo to bring down the rent figures,” she noted.

“Shipper education is key in all these efforts and the Ghana Shippers’ Authority would continue to educate shippers on the dos and don’ts of the clearance process. Education would also continue on the need for shippers to begin their documentation process for cargo clearance prior to the arrival of their cargo so as to reduce demurrage and rent payments. These are costs that can be avoided with a little more diligence on the part of shippers and key stakeholders,” she added.

Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson ||

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