CILT discusses cost of doing business at the port

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, CILT Ghana, has organised a business forum to discuss the cost of doing business in Ghana’s ports as well as its implication on import and export trade.

The forum had participation from key stakeholders like Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Shipping Lines, Ghana’s Shippers Authority, and some logistics firms.

The General Manager for Corporate Planning at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Khalid Nuhu said the Port Authority regulates charging system at the port in a balanced manner by ensuring that private entities don’t overcharge and importers also don’t underpay for services rendered to them.

“Everyone that has been licensed or has a concession with GPHA, operates under the tariffs set by GPHA. So if you aggregate the total tariffs of GPHA, in relation to what has been identified as a component of cost of doing business, on a scale of 1 to 100, GPHA is less than 10%,” he revealed.

He said GPHA has invested a lot in infrastructure at the port to be able to serve the port community in an efficient manner. He said the elimination of inefficiencies, delays and bureaucracies will go a long way to reduce the cost of doing at the ports.

“In GPHA, we try as much as possible to ensure that we are efficient because apart from the direct costs that we see impacting businesses and which we try to control to ensure that our port users are competitive, the indirect ones are what we have to try to eliminate like inefficiencies, bureaucracies and delays that are implicit in the cost of doing business. Normally, we don’t talk about that, but for me those are issues that need to be identified and dealt with so that as much as possible we control the cost of doing business through our ports”.

An Executive Member of the Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana, Adam Ayarna Imoro, said the charges of the shipping lines are to recoup the cost they incur in order for them to stay in business.

“That idea that people say shipping lines are a rip-off, they are making the cost of doing business in Ghana ports very high, the next thing you will see in the newspapers is that, the port is very expensive that is why they are losing cargos to Lomé. But both are not true. I checked with all the shipping lines here to know if they are losing containers and they told me it is not true. Cargo meant for Ghana comes to Ghana,” he clarified.

The Head of Shipper Services and Trade Facilitation at the Ghana Shippers Authority, Monica Josiah revealed some statistics on handling charges by some ports in the West African subregion.

“When you look at the port, government taxes take a greater chunk of the cost. For instance, in Tema, on some selected commodities we had 91.7% as government taxes, then in Abidjan, 92.1%, in Lomé 89.2%. For handling charges, that is receipts and delivery charges by GPHA, it was just 2.5% in Tema, then 2.6% in Abidjan and Lomé is about 2.4%,” she said.


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