The Takoradi Container Terminal (TACOTEL), the sole handler of import and export cargo at the Takoradi Port in the Western Region, declined in its target for 2020 by 19 percent as against 2019, where it achieved its target.
The decline in target was mainly as result of the novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic which impacted negatively on businesses around the globe.
In the same year under review, the Tema Port of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) achieved its target as against its counterpart, the Takoradi Port which feeds the Terminal.
Mr Kobina N. Otoo, Commercial Manager of TACOTEL who disclosed this in an interview when the Ghana News Agency visited the Terminal, explained that there were restrictions on goods and personnel travels by the European Union (EU) and other continental authorities which had a toll on the company’s operations.
He said as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to be felt in many places around the world and Ghana, the importance of community safety could not be overemphasized and for that matter measures were put in place at its terminal to ensure the safety of its clients.
Among the measures put in place at Tacotel were continuous and thorough disinfection of the entire terminal, ensuring constant flow of running water and provision of soap for hand washing and provision of hand sanitizers at various vantage points in and outside the terminal.
Others are checking the temperature of all staff and all visitors at all entry points, institution and enforcing adequate social distancing among all staff and patrons at all times, and ensuring the wearing of face masks by all staff and visitors to the Terminal.
The rest he said were encouraging virtual meetings over physical meetings and placing of notices at vantage points to educate and conscientize all clients and visitors of the terminal on COVID-19.
The company enforced the adherence to all the safety protocols given by the president as well as Ghana Health Service.
He also announced that the company introduced a shift system, where fewer staff worked from the terminal each day, with the remaining staff working from home to avoid crowding as they provided the required services to customers.
He added that the cost of putting together these measures for COVID-19 protocols coupled with less container turn up added to the decline in the revenue target while no staff was laid off even though they had comparatively less work to do.
Mr Otoo pointed out that despite all the challenges the COVID-19 brought on the company’s operations, it maintained its status of rendering same day container delivery to agents and clients in the maritime and trans-shipment trade.
He therefore asked clearing agents to be genuine in their declarations and documentations to ensure prompt service delivery.