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Taking advantage of the ports expansion (stevedoring)

   In recent times , there have been announcements of major ports developments and expansions along the coasts of the West-African sub-region with some expected to be operational in the very near future. Ghana has not been left behind with regards this development projects, the country has already started expansion works at the Takoradi port as well as development of a new free port at Atuabo with a recent announcement of the expansion of the Tema port as well.

stevedoring business, port expansion
A Reachstacker

  The completion of these projects as stakeholders keep saying “ would create more jobs”  but what exactly are these more jobs and opportunities apart from those that would be created during the construction stages and that which would be directly created by the  port or terminal operators. Ghanashippingguide (GSG) has taken the initiative to publish  a series of articles on “taking advantage of the port expansion” aimed at suggesting and presenting other viable areas where entrepreneurs can venture into to benefit from the opportunities presented by an expanded port.

  This post  contains some pros and cons of starting a stevedoring business which may serve as a guide  in the decision making process with regards this form of business .

Also Read 5 things to note when exporting at duty free rates to the U.S

   Stevedoring basically means providing container handling solutions or services to vessels that call at a port. Usually every container terminal operator would have some handling equipments (stevedore) but not all stevedoring companies might necessarily be terminal operators. Some stevedore companies just owns and manages  equipments and allocate or rent out when needed.

  An expanded port with all things being equal is expected to attract more and larger ships which means more containers and hence extra handling equipments would be required (stevedores). Fortunately in Ghana, the port authority is currently practicing what could be best described as a “quasi landlord” port, since the authority is still involved with operations at the port. This practice however, permits private participation in stevedoring services at the port.

     Starting a stevedoring business in Ghana is capital intensive, in fact an average reachstacker could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars but  when managed and handled well has great potential of racking in some good profits.

   Container terminals and other stevedoring companies both inland and at the ports occasionally rent extra handling gears like reachstackers, forklifts etc from private owners to help with operations. This presents a good opportunity for the private reachstacker or forklift owner.

   In fact some equipment owners are paid per hour, some per day and others are even paid per “container shift” thus each time a container is shifted or handled from one place to the other.

  Even though this kind of business may require huge capital, the good news is that there are equipments supply companies in Ghana that could supply these equipments on a very favorable lease arrangements. The modus operandi of these suppliers is that, equipments are supplied when you pay an initial one month rent in advance, the equipments are then made available to you for business and subsequently you keep paying for a months’ rent in advance. These companies also provide training and certification for nominated operators of your choice as well as provide servicing and repairs to the equipments.

  The flip side is that you would have to work hard to ensure a constant flow of work or business for your equipments to be able to pay for the next rent when its due. One such equipments supplier is Pasico Ghana.   You can contact any of these service providers for more information on how to get a good offer.

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