After a lengthy discussion with 26 shipping lines that participated in the 2021/22 cocoa freight negotiations with the Cocoa Marketing Company and the Ghana Shippers Authority, the rate of freight for shipment of Cocoa will see an upward adjustment of 5% for the next cocoa crop season.

The agreement was reached after several considerations by the parties in Accra, including container shortage and charter rates.

In a related development, the Ghana Shippers Authority has vowed to protect the shipment of cocoa from pirates attack.

Chief Executive of the Authority, Benonita Bismark told Joy Business at the Cocoa Freight Conference that, her outfit together with the relevant authorities have given attention to the commodity to ensure that the country does not lose its economic benefit from cocoa.

“It’s of a high concern to us and all stakeholders in the maritime value chain. I’m having series of conversations with the Transport Minister on the matter.”

This shows that freight cost and insurance may see a rise, hence the decision to ring-fence cocoa shipment so that it is not affected much.

“You know cocoa is of high value to us here in Ghana and therefore needs some special attention unlike other commodities” she said.

Benonita Bismark also charged shipping lines to set clear and transparent tariff and refund schemes for port agents and their importers.

This she believes is critical due to the role these parties play in the growth of the economy.

According to her, the issue of unfair and discriminatory charges by shipping lines have been a course of worry and potential to increase cost of doing business for port traders.