The volume of goods passing through the country's two seaports increased by 28.6 per cent to 5.8 million tonnes in the third quarter of 2017, due to improved confidence posed in the country’s economy.
The growth in cargo throughput was from 4.5 million tonnes in the third quarter of 2016 to 5.8 million tonnes in the third quarter of last year.
The cargo throughput in for the period under review witnessed an increase of 28.6 per cent, culminating in an overall increase of 12.8 per cent from January to September last year, compared to the same period in 2016.
Data from the Ghana Shippers' Authority (GSA) shows that the development was influenced by corresponding increment in exports, imports and transits.
The country’s maritime trade witnessed a lackluster growth in the first two quarters of 2017. However, a significant growth in volume was been recorded in the third quarter of 2017.
The total volume of import and export trade in the third quarter of 2017 increased by 27.83 per cent while total transit trade also increased by 41.70 per cent.
IMF raises outlook for economic growth
GSA in its quarterly maritime Journal Shipping Review explained that in the third quarter of 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its outlook for global economic growth for last year and this year by 0.1 percentage point over the April 2017 forecast to 3.6 per cent and 3.7per cent respectively.
This is consistent with demand growth as global container shipping demand growth of 5.0 per cent was recorded in the first half of 2017, according to Container Trades Statistics Limited (CTS).
This improvement in demand coupled with some shipping tonnage supply curtailments have caused freight rates to firm up in the first three quarters of last year.
The supply curtailment measures have included vessel scrapping, slowing down in new orders, mergers, partnerships and consolidations among others.
The increase in freight rates is ,therefore, likely to continue into 2018. Shippers, especially those in Ghana and Africa should begin to strengthen their negotiating capacities and to use appropriate shipment terms to adopt other measures that will inure to their benefit in the wake of the freight rates. —GB