Container handling charges must be taken from high freight charges – Awingobit

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Takoradi Container Terminal
Takoradi Container Terminal

Mr. Sampson Awingobit Asaki, Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, has stated that local container handling charges must be deducted from the high freights shipping lines charge of importers.

He noted that the practice of paying huge freight charges to shipping lines to carry their goods to the country and still end up paying for stevedoring and other administrative charges was impacting negatively on the Ghanaian market, as such cost affects the market prices of goods.

Mr Asaki was speaking at the Tema Ghana News Agency Industrial Board Room Dialogue platform, which is aimed at creating the needed opportunity for state, non-state, industry players and other stakeholders to address topical national issues such as happenings in the blue economy.

He said shipping lines must remit part of the payment to their agencies in Ghana to be used for the container handling and other expenses to prevent double payment as was currently happening in the country’s ports.

He explained that before the COVID-19 pandemic, importers were paying USD$3,000 for freights on a 20-foot container, but there was a sharp increase in the freight to USD$6,000.

He lamented that till date, freights for a 40-foot container was increased from USD$6,000 to USD$15,000, adding that the handling of the container was embedded in the freight, making it illegal for shipping lines to charge additional fees for doing what they ought to do.

“You collect freight from me and still expect that I should pay for stevedoring, the Ghana Government, and the Ministry is not taking the pain to found out why the importer have to pay for cleaning, evacuation of containers, and printing, among others.”

He said it was a known fact that when goods got to the port, no matter which terminal a vessel berths at, the items would be discharged from the containers, such discharging is part of the freight we pay to the shipping lines.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Manager, explained that the GNA-Tema Industrial Board Room Dialogue platform sought to strengthen the media’s relationship with operators in the blue economy and create media space for consistent reportage.

Mr Ameyibor said as the industrial news hub, it found it important to engage stakeholders on national issues to educate the public.

“As Industrial News Hub, GNA-Tema has created a platform for industrial players to use, for other stakeholders to reach out in a proactive means, while serving as grounds to address national issues,” he said.

Mr Ameyibor said modern journalism practices demanded a comprehensive dynamic approach to issues, which affected society, through which the media must provide a platform for proactive engagement and exchange of ideas towards shaping national developmental.

He said it was common knowledge that a lot of things happened at sea and in the fishing industry that the public needed more enlightenment on, therefore the need to engage the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana to throw light on its sector.

Mr Ameyibor explained that, activities on the sea was one of the most dynamic but under-reported from the media, therefore the agency had created a platform to offer stakeholders news channel to reach out to the world.

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