The Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) has revealed that shippers importing cargo to the country paid an estimated USD$24 million to shipping lines in demurrage in 2022.
Charles Asiedu Sey, the Tema Branch Manager of the GSA, disclosed this information during a seminar on demurrage organized by the Authority for Shippers.
Mr. Sey noted an increase from the USD$19 million paid in demurrage in 2021. He attributed the rise to exchange rate differentials between the Ghanaian cedi and the US dollar in the third and fourth quarters of 2022, leading to increased import duties and taxes at the ports.
Mr. Kwesi Saforo, a Senior Research and Monitoring Officer at the GSA, explained the impact of demurrage on the cost of doing business at the port.
He defined demurrage as the fee charged when an import container remains under the control of the shipping line beyond the allotted free time.
Saforo highlighted factors contributing to demurrage, including delays in cargo documentation, lack of prior information on vessel arrivals, and non-compliance with regulatory requirements.
Shippers were urged to avoid demurrage, as it could affect profits, increase product costs, impact import volumes, and hinder the competitiveness of Ghana's ports.
Mr. Romeo Frimpong, an Executive Member of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, and Mr. Dan Aryee, the Commercial Manager of Grimaldi Ghana Limited, provided additional insights from the perspectives of freight forwarders and ship agents, respectively.