The Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority has created an e-payment platform where clients of the port can do transactions via mobile money, Visa and MasterCard as part of efforts to increase automation and make doing business at Ghana’s port easier, faster and more secure.
The General Manager in Charge of Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mrs. Esther Gyebi-Donkor who made this revelation during a live interaction with the public on the Eye on Port Program, said this has been piloted on some port clients and will be rolled out soon.
According to her, this initiative is further enhanced by “the creation of a mobile app where clients of the port can validate invoices as well as calculate port charges.” Mrs. Esther Gyebi-Donkor said the Port Authority prides itself in customer satisfaction and always seeks to find improved ways of making doing business at the ports more convenient for clients.
In responding to how she would rate the Ghanaian ports as far as efficiency in cargo clearance is concerned, Mrs. Gyebi-Donkor answered by saying that remarkable successes have been chalked.
She intimated that the implementation of the Single Window is a sure way to achieve efficiency.
“The Ghanaian Ports were a bit late in fully implementing the Single Window System since Cotonou and Lome for example took the lead, but the gains made by Ghana in the short period is commendable. It has made our Ports efficient”.
She highlighted the significant gains made from automation in the ports, such as the Paperless Port Clearance Processes and the implementation of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), which has not only streamlined the activities of statutory agencies operating in the clearance chain, but has impacted the cost of doing business at the ports considerably.
According to her, the process has increased automation at the Ports and optimized business processes to the benefit of customers.
Processing time has also been reduced significantly. Customers cost in accessing invoices, paying and taking delivery has been reduced due to the ease of accessing GPHA’s services and charges.
Also, falsification of documents has reduced through system integrations with other stakeholders resulting in increase in revenue.
Mrs. Esther Gyebi-Donkor also underscored the contributions made by the Vibrant Freight Forwarding Fraternity that operates in the Port.
She indicated that GIFF and ACHAG have been doing well by giving feedback on the Port Clearance System. They make constructive criticism and propose solutions for improvement.
Mrs. Gyebi-Donkor emphasized that all the above have made the Ghanaian Ports more efficient.
She revealed that the paperless port project in particular, coupled with availability of modern infrastructure, equipment and the general performance of the Port of Tema has led to GPHA consistently chalking many peer review awards over the years.
“We have been best in container terminal productivity since in 2016, 2017 and 2018.” Mrs. Gyebi-Donkor averred.
The GPHA Management staff also revealed that receipt and delivery charges at Ghana’s ports have deliberately been made cheaper in order to bring relief to the local trading community.
She said the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority has been deliberate in the pursuance of customer oriented policies and activities that woo the international trading community to use its ports.
“Our charges are preferably cheaper and the other incentives we give to them like the warehousing facilities. We have special arrangements where those who bring in huge volumes of transit cargo, are given them 60 days instead of the usual 21 days to get the cargo cleared from the Port,” Mrs. Gyebi-Donkor elaborated.