The Ghana Shippers’ Authority has projected a positive trade outlook for Ghana’s maritime trade industry in 2018.According to the Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Benonita Bismarck, cargo throughput is expected to grow by at least 10% in 2018.She disclosed then when addressing journalists on developments in the Shipping industry in Ghana and globally regarding Ghana’s trade performance in 2017, some trade facilitation issues and prospects and outlooks for the industry in 2018 and beyond.“The year 2018 would experience another growth in trade volumes especially for export. We should expect a growth in cargo throughput by at least 10% in 2018”, she stated.Touching on demurrage, Benonita Bismarck said payments for demurrage at the Ports of Tema and Takoradi went down from $95 million in 2016 to $76 million at the end of last year.This, according to her represents a 19.6 percent reduction over a projected 10 percent by the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) for the same period.Describing the feat as gratifying, Chief Executive Officer of the GSA, Benonita Bismarck attributed the reduction to shipper education and sensitisation on need to avoid the payments of demurrage.“It is gratifying to note that demurrage payments at the ports in Tema and Takoradi went down from $95 million in 2016 to $75 million in 2017”, she expressed.On trade facilitation, the Shippers’ Authority boss lauded the paperless clearance system that has been introduced at the ports to reduce clearance time and secure government revenue.“The customs clearance process was revolutionized by the paperless clearance system which was introduced in 2017,” she said.The Shipping Quarter and Outlook was instituted by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) as an industry-wide platform for engaging the Media, and to provide timely, authentic and accurate information on the shipping industry to the public.
The management of Ave Maria Resort located in the Main Harbour, Tema has finally decommissioned and handed over the site to the Port Authority to pave way for the ongoing port expansion project. The facility has since been demolished by the Meridian Port Services, the developers of the Tema Port Expansion project. The decommissioning of the Resort was in compliance with the judgment of the Tema High Court on 11th September, 2017 to the effect that Ave Maria ends all business activities and vacate the premises within 30 days of the delivery of the judgment to pave way for the ongoing Tema Port expansion project.After several months of back and forth with the Port Authority, Eye on Port can confirm that the management of Ave Maria Resort voluntarily handed over the site to GHPA at 18:50 hours on Wednesday, 13th March, 2018.A visit to the site by Eye on Port revealed some earth moving equipment busily pulling down the structure to ground zero.
In January 2018, it emerged that the management of Ave Maria Resort whose location was derailing the progress of work on the Tema Port expansion project had been pleading for mercy from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority on one hand and on the other hand misrepresenting the issues in respect of her vacation of the site in the public domain.Available records indicate that Ave Maria Resort pleaded with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to give them a grace period up to the 30th April, 2018 to vacate the property for the expansion works to continue.This plea came after GPHA had insisted that Ave Maria respects the High Court judgment by handing over the site to be pulled down by the 26th January 2018, while the process for determining the compensation payable continue at the same High Court.