Mr. Ignatius Afrifa
First of all tell us about the company name. Hass Logistics—how did you come by that name and is there a specific reason for calling it Hass Logistics, Ghana?
We chose the name from our major backers and owners of Hass Holding Group. Logistics being a global activity, if we were lucky to be associated with the Hass Holding Group which has such presence and credibility, then it made sense to leverage that.
Ghana is a growing economy on the west coast of Africa. Most people, when thinking about logistics in Africa, consider French companies or perhaps Belgian companies due to their colonial past. Who are the owners of HASS Logistics? Can you also tell us more about your activities in Ghana?
Ownership is Ghanaian with significant backing from our Polish partners. This is a cooperation between two groups. One part is a group of experienced shipping and logistics business leaders with tremendous Ghanaian, local knowledge; having worked and managed at the highest level with the French Group (formerly SDV and now Bollore Transport and Logistics) and the Anglo Saxon Group, Hull-Blyth Ghana. This is our side. The other part is our partners, the Polish group with an enormous shipping and logistics tradition as owners of Euroafrica Shipping Lines. We believe this is a unique platform to deliver value to clients, and if the last two years’ results are anything to go by, then we are on course.
We offer total logistics solutions in both ports of Tema and Takoradi in Ghana: customs clearing, warehousing, sea-freight brokerage, oil & gas, people and material logistics, project cargo and dangerous cargo handling, etc.
I have noticed that you also act as a local shipping agent. Who are your current principals and whom do you represent in Ghana?
We have a liner agency agreement with Euroafrica Shipping Lines who schedules 2-3 vessel calls per month to ports of Ghana with various bulk and breakbulk cargoes such as ammonium nitrate, fertilizer, paper reels, steel and is a major carrier of cocoa, shea nuts and steel billets, sows, etc. by Valco out of Ghana.
We also hold several tramp agencies for breakbulk, bagged and bulk (including BIBO), project cargoes, steel, pipes, and also government services like naval vessel operation and crew change, etc.
Tell us about the ports of Ghana and elaborate for us whether Ghana is a possible transhipment port for other places in West Africa. Please also tell us whether it’s feasible to deliver cargo to countries bordering Ghana in the interior of Africa?
Ghana has two major ports: Tema and Takoradi, with an estimated container throughput of 3,000,000 and 600,000 TEUs, respectively. MPS Terminal, which is a consortium between APMT, Bollore Ports, and GPHA/Government, is positioning itself as a transshipment hub in West Africa, but details are scanty at the moment. We will update in due course when we have more information.
Otherwise, the ports of Ghana have always had established transit corridors to serve our land-locked neighbors, ie. Burkina Faso, Mali, and to an extent Niger in whose trade we are deeply involved as forwarders.
Tell us about the current state of politics in Ghana. Who is in charge? What kind of government rule do you have in your country, and elaborate, if you will, on the current major countries that Ghana trades with?
Ghana is a stable democracy, established since 1992 with several political parties but two dominant ones, ie. The New Patriotic Party (currently in power) and the National Democratic Congress. The New Patriotic Party tilts to the right, and the National Democratic Party tilts to the left (center right and center left respectively, for want of a better expression).
Our major trading countries/blocks are:
- Europe for export of cocoa, shea nuts, other primary products, and fresh fruits, etc. and import of commodities.
- China for all manner of finished products, ie. durable and semi-durable consumer goods, rice etc.
- USA for oil and gas equipment etc.
- Turkey and Korea, to an extent, both countries mirroring the Chinese imports.
COVID-19 is affecting most of the world. How is the situation in Ghana presently? Are the ports fully operational? How is the situation on the ground?
COVID-19 has affected our port operations as in many countries. The government, however, exempted the ports during the lock-down. Yet, since human traffic was reduced mostly to essential movements only in late March and early April 2020, it adversely affected port operations to the extent that the Ministry of Transport directed shipping lines and terminal operators to offer demurrage, detention, and rent waivers to cushion port users for the period 30th March to 19th April.
Otherwise, we are emphasizing all the precautionary protocols: social distancing by running shifts to reduce staff numbers in the office, regular washing and sanitizing of hands, wearing of face masks, clear guidelines to follow in case of suspicion of illness, reducing meetings to the very essential, all with enough physical distancing and continuous education to remind ourselves of the new normal in order to keep our eyes on the ball.
Have you handled project cargoes before? Could you perhaps provide us with some examples of cargoes that you have handled recently?
We have handled a lot of projects and recently did vessel CL Seven ex Shanghai-Takoradi in February 2020 for the project Anokye: mainline compressor station with varying dimensions. We also handled the MV Saga Fuji in January 2020, ex Lianyungang and Shanghai,also with a power station, pipes of varying sizes, and police and military equipment and vehicles, etc.
How is it best for people to get in touch with you?
Here is our contact information:
Hass Logistics Ghana Ltd.
Meridian Roundabout | Tema Main Harbour
P. O. Box 4899 | Community 1| Tema, Ghana.
Tel: ++ 233 303 220 180 – 2 | D/L ++ 233 303 220 145 | Cell: ++ 233 244 311 613