Tema, March 19, GNA – The Ship Owners and Agents Association (SOAAG) on Wednesday, launched a campaign against the stealing and illegal sale of containers.
The SOAAG hopes to use the campaign to reduce and if possible curb the incident of container theft by appealing to the general public to double check with the Association on containers they intend to buy using its outline, 0571962712.
Mr Kofi Setor, Port Captain for Maersk Line (an international container shipping company), in a presentation on the role of containers in the shipping-logistics chain, during the launch, said most of the time some importers and other stakeholders thought the container was part of their consignment.
Mr Setor stated that such clients therefore kept the containers after clearing their goods from the Port, adding that, such acts affect the activities of Ship Owners and their agents.
He noted that containers were the asset of the ship owners who sometimes owned or leased them to ship.
He said the use of containers was introduced into the maritime industry in the 1930s to make shipment of goods less cumbersome.
He added that the use of containers in shipping goods reduces damages and pilfering of consignment and has a cheaper handling and claim cost.
Mr Francis Mensah-Abrompa, the Technical Advisor to SOAAG, made a passionate appeal to the media to encourage the public to enquire of the genuineness of any container offered them for sale.
Mr Mensah-Abrompa added that, apart from some stakeholders mistakenly keeping containers after discharging their goods, there were some miscreants who also engage in the sale of stolen containers.
Touching on the issue of demurrage, he said compensatory charges were imposed against shippers or consignees for delaying the carrier’s equipment or vessel beyond the allowed free time.
He reminded stakeholders that it was not the doing of Ship-owners and their agents to impose demurrages on consignees but rather due to the delays in the clearing process at the country’s sea ports.
He therefore urged stakeholders to put in a concerted effort to clear the system of the bottlenecks that impeded smooth and fast clearance at the ports.
He also called for government support to put in place innovations that would speed up the clearing procedure.
Mr Murtala Mohammed, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (MOTI), who launched the campaign, said the Ministry was concerned about the delays importers and exporters go through at the ports.
Mr Mohammed added that his outfit has set up a committee, which he heads, to ensure that the 23 check points, importers have to go through before clearing their goods were reduce to about 10.
He said the MOTI’s intention of decongesting the port was very essential and would call for an inter-ministerial meeting to address the issue.
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