27.01.2004 Business & Finance

Stevedoring Companies commend Minister for his intervention

27.01.2004 LISTEN

Tema, Jan. 27, GNA- The six private Stevedoring Companies in Tema have expressed their appreciation to the Minister of Ports Harbours and Railways, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi for his prompt intervention to revert the operations of the stevedoring companies to the quota system.

They are the Atlantic Port Services, (APS) Speedline Services, Golden Gate Services, Odart Services, Dashwood Services, and Fountain View Stevedoring Company Services, which have since January this year operated under a free for all system against their wish. In a statement signed by Mr Michael Nyarku, on behalf of the companies they assured the Minister of the maximum co-operation to ensure the efficiency and "quick turn round time" of vessels in the industry.

It however hoped that other issues raised in previous petitions would be addressed.

Last Monday, January 26, the Minister advised the Board of Directors of the GPHA to put hold the implementation of the policy on the liberalisation of stevedoring operations at the Tema Port. This was after interacting with the executives of the association of Stevedoring Companies and the management of the GPHA.

Early this year, the GPHA introduced the free-for-all system in order to liberalise stevedoring operations at the port, which enabled shipping agents to choose which company should handle the vessels.

Under the quota system, each of the six stevedoring companies has a percentage to handle. Apart from the APS that handled 15 percent and Foundation five percent, the rest handled 10 percent each while the GPHA also holds 25 percent.

The free for all system created agitation among the private stevedoring companies, which brought a near halt to the stevedoring operations at the port.