The Ghana Shippers’ Authority has assembled relevant stakeholders in the export value chain, to discuss certain inefficiencies in Ghana’s export trade and probable ways of creating solutions in order to achieve the significant improvement the nation seeks in its exports.
This comes at the back of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority launching its report on the non-traditional export statistics of 2018 which revealed a 10.05% improvement in the general performance of Non Traditional Exports from USD 2.446 Billion in 2017 to USD 2.813 Billion in 2018.
Sylvia Asana-Owu, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Shippers’ Authority, on behalf of the CEO, Benonita Bismarck, said there is room for improvement in the export business although an appreciable surge has been recorded.
She said, her outfit in keeping with its mandate, will ensure an enabling environment to bring ease to shippers in the export business. She mentioned that the Boankra inland port as well as warehouses in Tema, are examples of the Shippers’ Authority’s contribution to facilitate export logistics in Ghana.
“In the area of infrastructure, the Authority has projects such as warehouses in Tema and others at various stages of development, intended to aid in the facilitation of transport logistics, in both the export and import value chain. The Boankra inland port for example will link the ports of Tema and Takoradi to the inner parts of the country.”
Maxwell Kusi, Director of Research at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), revealed that bad roads, as well as reemerged police barriers on the road transport corridors, has served as stumbling blocks to an efficient export of goods by road.
“The checkpoints reduced to the barest minimum, but after a while we found out that it started emerging. Unprofessional bumps and speed ramps are issues which delay shippers, at the same time they affect the quality of the product at the end of it,” he disclosed.
He also asked that in reacting to tighter international market requirements on health and safety, Ghana should commit to use secure and sanitized vehicles that may not cause contaminations to food products for exports.
“We have been receiving a lot of reports especially from the USA on contaminations and alerts from these. Shippers and transporters, can we make sure that these trucks have been specifically designed for these products?” he admonished.
Peter Harms, Commercial Manager of Air Ghana, a cargo services provider at Ghana’s airport attributed the lower volumes of export cargo to the ban on some vegetables which has caused airlines to deploy transit methods more often.
Chris Goodsir, Country Manager of Swissport International, a provider of cargo handling services to the aviation industry in Ghana, said delays and inconsistencies from government agencies at the airport contribute to the cumbersomeness experienced in the export flow.
William Lamptey, Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate, said his organization has introduced interventions to mitigate Ghana’s export phytosanitary issues.
“We, together with stakeholders have been able to put in all the necessary interventions that are required for us to be able to fulfil recommendations from the EU audit that were in the country,” he revealed.
Some exporters present levelled some complaints against regulatory agencies especially the PPRSD who according to the exporters, are under-equipped to perform their mandate, and create inefficiencies in the export chain.