Cargo throughput at the country’s two seaports for the first half of the year moved up to 11.75 million metric tonnes, representing an increase of 14.29 percent compared to the 10.3 million metric tonnes that was recorded for same period 2017, according to statistics from the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA).
This figure is comprised of 11,182,540 million metric tonnes for import/export and 571,054 million metric tonnes for transit and transshipment—representing 14.4 percent and 11.5 percent growth respectively compared to last year.
Generally, there were significant increases in other areas of shipping business within the period under review; including imports, exports, transit trade, total laden containers as well as average bunker prices.
Total laden containers for imports and exports for half-year 2018 stood at 328,801 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), which is a 13.5 percent growth.
Transit volumes to the three landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali amounted to 497,574 metric tonnes—made up of 449,710 metric tonnes of imports and 47,864 metric tonnes of exports.
Major transit trade commodities included processed foods/beverages, iron, steel, plates and pipes.
A chunk of the total trade volume—8.1 million metric tonnes, representing 69 percent, was handled by Port Tema; while Port Takoradi handled the remaining 3.65 million metric tonnes, representing 31 percent.
Chief Executive Officer of the GSA, Benonita Bismarck, addressing journalists at the Shipping Quarter and Outlook in Accra indicated that the impressive performance signals growing confidence in the sector and economy in general.
She said various interventions from government, especially the paperless ports, have helped to facilitate trade at the country’s ports and largely accounted for the half-year maritime trade performance.
She indicated: “Ghana’s maritime trade outlook for 2018 is positive; the first-half has witnessed an increase in trade performance.
“In line with expected growth in world economic output, and in the wake of the first half performance, Ghana’s cargo throughput for 2018 is bound to post good growth of not less than 10 percent.”
She added: “As an authority, we believe that the system has brought some relief to shippers; but we will continue to educate and sensitise them on the need to operate within the framework of the system and report any challenges they may encounter”.
Madam Bismarck further stated that her outfit will continue to sensitise shippers on the need to reduce avenues for demurrage payment, which she said is an avoidable cost.
The Shipping Quarterly and Outlook event is an initiative of the GSA, aimed at offering an industry-wide platform for engaging the media on “timely, authentic and accurate information” pertaining to the sea-trade industry.