The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has advised importers to do well to plan their imports and put in exigency measures to avoid paying demurrage which is the cost incurred for overstayed containers.
According to the Authority, some preliminary research has shown that the cost of some goods on the market could be cheaper but for demurrage importers incur and eventually pass on to the final user.
Head of Freight and Logistics at the GSA, Fred Asiedu Dartey
This came up when the GSA organised a demurrage seminar for shippers in the Ashanti, Bono-East and Ahafo regions in Kumasi on 9th December, 2021.
In the speech read on her behalf, the Chief Executive Officer of the GSA, Ms. Benonita Bismarck underscored the fact that demurrage is an avoidable cost, and ultimately affects profitability and competitiveness on the market. As a result, she urged the importers to do well to work within their capital to ensure that they do not incur cost that would make them uncompetitive as their goods would be costly on the market.
Some participants at the demurrage seminar
The Kumasi Branch Manager of the GSA, Isaac Tersiah Ackwerh underscored the fact that a lot of Ghana’s seaborne imports are containerized, hence demurrage payments add cost to doing business. He noted that the seminar was intended to elicit factors that result in incurring demurrage and how to avoid same, in other to reduce the cost of doing business.
The seminar brought together participants from the business community, trade associations, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana and other agencies in the maritime industry.
Some of the participants raised concerns over shipping lines not working on holidays and weekends, the security of goods at customs bonded warehouses, monetary demands at customs checkpoints, high freight rates, and at what time demurrage calculation starts, amongst others.
On the issue of high freight rates and terminal charges, the Head of Freight and Logistics at the GSA, Fred Asiedu Dartey explained the impact of COVID–19 on global trade and transport, the closure of some important seaports worldwide was to blame for the surge in freight rates.