Transit traffic at Takoradi Port increased from 169,258 metric tonnes in the year 2004 to 246,825 metric tonnes last year. Some of the items which passed through the port to the landlocked transit countries such as Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso included rice, sugar, flour and sulphur.
The Marketing and Customer Service Manager of the Takoradi Port of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), George Bredu, announced this when briefing the Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, when the Minister paid a working visit to the port.
Mr Bredu therefore called for the rehabilitation of the Hamile corridor in order to maintain the growth in the transit trade. He said the rehabilitation of the Hamile corridor would reduce the route from the port to those countries by 500 kilometres. According to him, the Takoradi Port was the preferred transit point for the transit cargo, since the Tema Port was already congested. He said Takoradi Port had enough land and urged authorities of the port to take advantage of the increase in transit cargo to expand facilities at the port.
Mr Bredu said the opening of transit containers was creating problems for the transit countries, adding that unstuffing and stuffing of the containers added cost and also delayed transit cargo. He stressed the need for further increase in storage facilities at the Takoradi Port to contain the increase in transit goods. The Customer Service Manager disclosed that 288,794 metric tonnes of cocoa were exported through Takoradi Port last year, less than a total of 328,961 metric tonnes of cocoa exported through the port in the year 2004. He said 699 vessels berthed at the port last year as against the total of 465 vessels, which was at the port in 2004. He said Takoradi Port would continue to make progress in the years ahead. Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said all transit containers would be scanned in future.
He said two companies had expressed interest in establishing a scanning point at Takoradi Port. Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said the Takoradi Port would continue to grow and that there was the need to maintain tight security at the port. He urged the port authorities to collaborate with officers of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and work closely together. He also asked them to be extra vigilant to deal with irregularities and malpractice at the port.
Later at a meeting with the authorities of the Takoradi Port and officials of the Cocoa Marketing Company of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), the minister stressed the need to find a way to control the influx of articulated trucks at the port. He said the annual congestion at the Takoradi Port by articulated trucks loaded with bags of cocoa beans, had been attributed to indiscipline of cocoa purchasing companies for not adhering to the quota of trucks to be brought to the port in a day.