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Two bodies discuss measures to reduce shipping cost

As part of efforts to make shipping a cost-effective venture for importers and exporters, the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has held an engagement with the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and the Committee of Freight Forwarders’ Association (COFFA) on ways to reduce the cost of shipping.

The meeting which was held in Accra on June 14, 2022 was facilitated by the GSA in line with its mandate to protect and promote the interest of shippers in the country.

The GSA has prioritised the education and sensitisation of shippers on the avoidance of demurrage as part of its activities for the year.

A solution to delays at the ports is needed to shield companies from the brunt of rising demurrages, which rose from US$40 million in 2010 to US$100 million in 2016.

Timely clearance of cargo will also ensure that the turnaround times of shipowners and shipping lines are reduced, and that could help improve their earning abilities.

The executives of GUTA and COFFA present at the meeting underlined the consistent increase in freight with the advent of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and demurrage – cost incurred for overstayed cargo – as their major operational cost elements and hoped that measures would be put in place to address them.

Improve trade

The Chief Executive Officer of the GSA, Benonita Bismarck, assured the leadership of the GUTA and COFFA that the authority would continue to work to improve trade at the ports by reducing the bottlenecks involved in shipping.

She reiterated the GSA’s commitment to deepening its relationship with the freight forwarders as key stakeholders in the industry.

She added that GSA would continue to collaborate on diverse issues for the advancement of the shipping and logistics industry, particularly in the interest of shippers in the country.

The GSA was established by NRCD 254 of 1974 to, among others, effectively manage the demand side of Ghana’s shipping industry with a view to protecting the interests of Ghanaian shippers in relation to port, ship, inland transportation and other ancillary problems with a view to ensuring a quick, safe, reliable and cost-effective delivery of cargo for the shipper in Ghana.

Since its establishment, the authority has worked closely with other sectors of the industry in protecting and promoting the interests of Ghanaian shippers and ensured the provision of relevant logistics for the growth of shipping and trade in the country.

The GSA upholds the need to educate and sensitise shippers, the business community and other relevant stakeholders in order to assist them improve upon their knowledge and skills and also adopt best business practices.

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