The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Benonita Bismarck has stated that it is imperative for shippers to avoid demurrage and rent charges as a result of delay if their profitability and competitiveness within the market space is to be guaranteed.
“The high cost of business remains one of the biggest disincentives to the growth of imports and exports businesses in Ghana. A major cost item is container demurrage which has become a significant drain on the capital of imports and export businesses. Demurrages rates are avoidable payments at the port and that is why we chose the theme how to avoid demurrage.”
The CEO of Ghana Shippers Authority said this in a speech read on her behalf by Fred Aseidu Dartey, Head of Freight and Logistics, when he addressed a section of shippers on how to avoid demurrage at Takoradi in the Western Region.
She said if demurrage and rent charges are avoided it will go a long way to reduce cost burden and increase productivity.
“We at the Ghana Shippers Authority will continue to assure you of our unflinching support and dedication to the promotion and protection of your interest and that includes throwing ample light on the dark spots within the industry through regular sensitization programs to help the businesses navigate carefully to safety. At a recent seminar with a segment of the shipping public in Accra, I highlighted some key issues.”
Last year alone, more than US$75 million was paid as demurrage to Shipping lines with an estimated GH¢48 million paid over the same period as port rent to the Port Authority.
He therefore urged shippers to clear their goods on time and within the seven days’ free period given by Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority.
The Deputy Manager for Marketing and Public Affairs Officer of the Takoradi Port, Peter Amo-Bediako, of the GPHA said Port storage charges also known as rent charges were legitimate charges but can be avoided by shippers.
“For us, as a Port Authority, and for the Shipping public, to sensitize them that, these costs: container demurrage charges, and rent charges, though legitimate could be avoided to impact positively the cost of doing business through the port and also the price of commodities on the market,” he opined.
He said some essential things shippers could do to avoid excess rent charges and demurrage was to employ the services of a professional freight forwarder who could monitor the shipment to ensure that the cargo is cleared on time.