The Cocoa Freight Negotiation Conference for the year 2018 and 2019 happened in Accra on Wednesday, 26th September, 2018 with the theme “Re- positioning Shipping in the Cocoa supply chain to advance Ghana’s Development Agenda".
This year's conference provides a platform for the Cocoa Marketing Companies (CMC), the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) and the Shipping lines serving Ghana's Cocoa trade, to negotiate freight rates and conditions for the coming season.
Opening the conference, Deputy Minister for Transport, Hon. Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus- Glover indicated that issues concerning the cocoa industry is of much interest to government as cocoa is a key commodity for the economic development of the country and that it brings in revenue to support the Development Agenda.
Focusing on Ghana's seaborne trade in 2017, he disclosed that total exports for 2017 including cocoa shipment saw a 10.9 percent increment over that of 2016, from 5.55 million metric tons to 6.14 million metric tons .
He added that seaborne trade for the first half of this year saw a further increase by 14.3 percent over that of the same period, 2017 and that 10 percent cargo throughput is expected for the rest of the year.
The deputy Minister stated that the incremental growth in Ghana's seaborne trade over the years has imposed a duty on Ghana to increase the capacity of the ports and create reforms in the Shipping and logistics chain in order to effectively and efficiently manage the increasing volumes of cargo.
Government, He mentioned, is committed to meet the increasing demands of international trade hence the Tema and Takoradi ports expansion projects, railway development project, policy reforms that will improve port operations and other infrastructure being undertaking by government.
Hon. Titus-Glover called for collaboration from all stakeholders in the maritime trade, especially Shipping Lines to make the ports more competitive.
The three-day conference has brought together officials from CMCs from other countries.