The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) has teamed up with the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA) to address the rising incidence of pilfering at the Tema Port.
The pilfering menace, which is peculiar to vehicles and their spare parts being imported into the country through the Tema Port, has dented the image of the country and the port in particular while denying shippers some revenue.
The situation has been a headache to the Shippers’ Authority, which is the umbrella body of shippers and allied providers in the country, for years.
The Head of Shipper Services at the authority, Naa Densua Aryeetey, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that her outfit had now resolved to bring the issue to the attention of all the stakeholders with the aim of finding permanent solutions.
The authority has consequently scheduled a stakeholder consultative meeting between shippers and the GPHA, stevedoring companies, shipping lines and destination inspection companies (DICs), among others, to discuss the pilfering menace as well as other issues of importance to the industry.
“Pilfering has been a major challenge to us. Shippers time and again have come to complain about their items being stolen, and that is very bad. The difficulty is that one is not able to say at what point the stealing takes place because there are about three institutions involved in the shipping business,” Naa Aryeetey told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on March 19.
Given that the shipping and clearance of goods at the port normally involve the GPHA, the stevedoring company and the shipping line, Naa Densua Aryeetey explained that perpetrators of the pilfering menace had capitalised on a “gray area in this link” where they could steal the items and make it unable for people to identify the point at which it got lost.
“It looks as if they know when to take the things, and none of these three institutions will be able to tell at what point it went off,” she added.
Although the incidence cuts across other areas, Naa Aryeetey said it was peculiar to vehicles and their parts and also limited to the Tema Port. The port handles about 70 per cent of the country’s maritime trade volumes and is the oldest among the twin-sea ports.
Naa Aryeetey explained that previous investigations into the pilfering menace had led to some shipping agents and/or stevedoring companies refunding the lost items in sums running into hundreds of thousands of cedis.
She was, however, optimistic that the consultative meeting with the various stakeholders would help find lasting solutions to the menace, thereby bringing relief to shippers and shipping service providers.