The Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana in Tema, Mr Samson Asaki Awingobit, has said just before and after last year’s Christmas, “importers were paying about USD2,500 to bring a 20-footer container and about USD4,000 to bring a 40-footer container into this country”.
However, “shipping lines felt that there was COVID-19, so, they had made losses, so, they are making cost recovery”.
As a result of that, “shipping freight shot up from USD4,000 to about USD12,000 for a container to be brought to Ghana”.
He said it “used to cost them USD2,500” to bring a 20-footer container to Ghana but now “costing about USD6,000”.
In a similar manner, he noted that freight bills of USD6,000 in the past have now doubled to USD12,000.
According to Mr Awingobit, the authorities held no discussions with the importers ahead of the tariff hikes.
“So, we are questioning: why is that the local rep here representing the principal, are now introducing these local charges. It is unlawful, it has no merit”, he told Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class91.3FM’s mid-day news 12 Live on Friday, 9 April 2021.
“They are doing all this because, we, as a country, don’t know where we are positioning these local shipping companies to be regulated”, he argued.
“We are calling on the Transport Minister, he has to be bold enough, he has to have the balls to say: ‘Look, we have the Ghana Maritime Authority Shipping Act, (Act 630) for the Ghana Maritime Authority to regulate local shipping companies in this country”.
“The Ghana Shipping Authority Act was there to do advocacy, they are to protect the interest of importers, but they have no clue, they have no teeth to bite, they cannot, it is not punitive enough, it cannot punish”, he added.