The Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), 18 shipping lines, and the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) have agreed to raise the basic freight rates for the 2022–2023 cocoa season to all but the United Kingdom (UK).
Because of this, basic freight for containerized shipments to all destinations other than the UK has increased by 5%, while basic freight for mega bulk shipments has increased by 10%.
Additionally, the Bunker (Fuel) Adjustment Factor (BAF) has been raised from 28 to 30 percent for all destinations outside from the UK by 2 percentage points.
These were agreed upon following a lengthy meeting at the 20th annual Cocoa Freight Negotiation Conference, which took place on September 20, 2022, at the Hilton Sorrento Palace in Sorrento, Italy.
This means the rate, calculated per tonne, for shipping the commodity to the various locations across the world currently stands at £31.50 to the United Kingdom (UK) for both bagged and bulk; to the Northern Continent €54.02 for bagged and €56.60 for bulk; to Estonia €61.74 for bagged and €64.70 for bulk; to Mediterranean Europe €60.64 for bagged and €63.53 for bulk; to the Far East US$100.44/106.09 for bagged and to Brazil US$116.24 for bagged and US$121.78 for bulk.
The reasons that resulted in the decision predominantly were events in the global shipping market, which include increasing charter rates, container shortage and rising bunker prices. Also, the consideration of the need to keep a competitive freight rate for Ghana’s cocoa, especially in the light of competition from neighbouring countries played a role.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ms. Benonita Bismarck, on her part used the occasion to acknowledge the cooperation and support of the shipping lines who have kept faith with the nation by promoting trade and serving as trusted conduits between the Cocoa Marketing Company and the buyers for the international transportation of Ghana’s cocoa.
Managing Director of the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC), Vincent Okyere Akomeah, was confident that the agreed rates will be a win-win for the government and the shipping lines.
He said the move would help to save the government substantial revenue as the shipping lines would get good and reliable business. He was optimistic of a good cocoa year with the help of key stakeholders such as the GSA, the shipping lines, buyers and insurers, among others.
Some of the shipping lines who were present at the conference to agree on prices include Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd, Grimaldi, COSCO Shipping Lines, Messina Lines, Ocean Network, CMA-CGM and Arkas.