Importers Decry High Demurrage Charges Again

Importers and Exporters are appealing to government to ensure shipping lines reduce their charges on demurrage at the ports.

According to them, they are being exploited by the shipping lines as they charge huge demurrage on their containers which erodes all their profits on a daily basis.

Enumerating the effect on their operations, Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Samson Asaaki Awingobit explained that importers are facing serious challenges that is collapsing their businesses.

“So Maersk is taking GHS561.64 for the 40 footer container a day on demurrage and GHS 80.82 for the 20 footer container. When it comes to MSC, they are taking GHS290 on 40 footer container for demurrage and GHS81 for 40 footer container”.

He added that “PIL, take GHS453.08 for 40 footer container a day and GHS 2226.54 a day. Sometimes they will deliberately delay and the number of days that accrue is what will be paid for”.
Meanwhile, Vice President Dr. Bawumia last month directed Port officials to institute measures to reduce the turnaround time at the ports to avoid money lost in demurrage.

Lamenting over the challenges associated in the actions of the shipping lines to Citi Business News, Mr. Awingobit called on the various governmental bodies to address the issue at the port.“I am calling beyond the Ghana Shippers Authority, I am calling on the Transport Minister to address this issue.

I am also calling on the Finance Minister to voice out on this issue because this is one of the ways and means that shipping companies are making money from the importers” he stated.
To him, the shipping lines are part of the reason the cedi is depreciating since they charge in dollars and not in cedis.

Freight Forwarders to sue port officials over ‘unfair charges’

Freight forwarders in the country last month initiated processes to seek legal action against shipping lines over what they termed as illegal charges against them.

The group was then lamenting over fees they pay on weekends and holidays as part of demurrage.

They are also unhappy, the shipping lines use a foreign interbank rate to charge them for demurrage instead of the approved Bank of Ghana rate and thus called for the abolishment of some administrative charges.