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Business News of Monday, 13 July 2009

Source: chronicle

Cargo Haulage Business Loses $165 Million Annually

Takoradi — THE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Shippers Council (GSC), Mr. Kofi Mbiah, has stated that the cargo transporting business loses a total of $165 million yearly, as a result of road accidents.

He was speaking at a forum organised for stakeholders on the Axle Load Regulations and Road Safety.

The forum was organised by the Shippers Council, in collaboration with the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA), on the topic "The Axle Load Regulations in Ghana."

It was meant to inculcate in the handlers of trucks, as well as their owners, the need to place premium on life and property.

Mr. Mbiah advised the haulers to be mindful of axle load limits.

He pointed out that the role of road cargo transportation in the distributive trade of an economy could not be over-emphasised, since it was the main mode of transport for imports and exports through the ports.

According to him, it was imperative that road transportation is given a high level of attention for efficient logistics chain operations.

He added that the efficiency of the logistics chain was dependent on its functioning.

Any break in the chain causes disastrous and catastrophic consequences both to human lives and cargo on board, the owner of the vehicle, the cargo owner, and consequently the associated forward and backward linkages that the cargo transport economy creates.

Mr. Kofi Mbiah also announced that the Ghana Shippers Council was in the process of strengthening its mandate, with respect to the protection of interest of shippers.

To this end, the council envisaged a legal régime that would ensure that within a specified time frame, the haulage of cargo would be undertaken only on containerised trucks or in containers.

The Axle Load Control Coordinator of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), Mr. Nicholas Brown, on his part, advised axle load drivers to recognise the fact that the roads are designed to take specific loads.

Mr. Brown announced that the GHA would be seeking to promulgate a law which would compel drivers to pay a fine of GH¢3,000, if they are found to have overloaded their trucks.

The Marketing and Customer Service Manager of the Takoradi Port, Mr. George Ohene Bredu, who chaired the forum, noted that shipping would not be complete without the work of road transporters, who, by their job description, have to send goods to their final destinations.

He expressed the hope that the forum would help bring a paradigm transformation in the conduct of drivers on the appropriate use of our roads.