Freight Forwarders threaten to strike, sue shipping lines over ‘illegal’ port charges


    Freight Forwarders in the country are set to embark on a strike on September 16, 2021, over what they call illegal charges at Ghana’s ports.

    The Vice-Chairman of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Johnny Mantey disclosed this on Citi TV’s Point of View.

    He explained that the strike has become necessary after failed attempts to get authorities to call the shipping lines responsible for charging these illegal fees to order.

    “We thought we could talk, but we have had it. We are not going to dialogue anymore. We know how to handle this situation. On the 16th  of September, we will embark on a strike.”

    These charges include container deposits, exchange rate differentials, administrative fees, among others.

    Shipping Lines failing to act

    The National Chairman of Customs Brokers Association of Ghana, Nana Fredua Agyemang Ofori-Atta, also on the same show said shipping lines had failed to abide by laid down processes for introducing new charges at the ports.

    Mr. Ofori-Atta indicated that the shipping authorities who have the mandate to regulate the activities of the shipping lines have also failed to call the latter to order.

    “The shipping lines have introduced fees and charges that are illegal. There are regimes and processes they are supposed to followed [in introducing new charges] and they are flouting all of them…Because they are multinationals, they have the muscle and they have been able to even muscle in the regulator which is the shipping authority” Mr. Ofori Atta complained.

    He said the Freight Forwarders will sue the shipping lines over the charges.

    “We have been complaining to the Shippers Authority but it seems the issues are being massaged. We are so frustrated and we will be forced to go to court to get the Shippers Authority to do what they are supposed to do.”

    Freight forwarders raised similar concerns over demurrage and rent charges on cargo at the country’s ports in April 2020.