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1.0 Introduction

Over the old ages, the Council has brought both institutional and infrastructural reforms in the transportation services through the Ministry of Transport and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority ( GPHA ) . Presently, the Council is runing with “new software” which has registered over 17,000 Ghanese shippers into its database ( Ghana Shippers Council, 2005 ) . This development has enabled the Council in using its rational capital to pull off the demand side of transportation. However the footmark of the two major ports has reached its concentrated points which require pressing matter-of-fact and sustainable attack. In Ghana lorries histories for 95 % estimation of the states internal container motion which poses menaces to the limited roads, making congestions, increasing C emanations and partially responsible for the accidents on the roads ( Mustapha, 2007 ) .

The study author worked with the Ghana Shippers ‘ Council for a period of one twelvemonth as a National Service Personnel. The newsman worked with the Project Development Planning Department where study and research is carried out on the feasibleness on any undertaking within their legal power which will profit the shippers, port stakeholders and the state as a whole. Therefore the study aims at strategic scrutiny and development of inland port and railroads web in Ghana. The envisage undertaking will lucubrate on the challenges and alterations in the short, medium and long term, its sustainable importance to the administration and the state. The impact of logistics and supply concatenation on the undertaking will be highlighted. Recommendations are made to enrich the existent executing of the undertaking.

2.0 TRENDS OF GHANA SEABORNE Trade

To get down with, it is important to recognize the development of Ghana ‘s seaborne trade. Harmonizing to Branch ( 1996 ) more than 90 % of the planetary trade which is undertaken by sea conveyance is shipped through containers. The rapid growing of international trade today has been fostered through increased use of container ships. Furthermore the handiness of container ships to havens has besides improved the operations of supply concatenation activities ( Min and Guo, 2004 ) . Harmonizing to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development ( UNCTAD ) , estimations of the entire seaborne trade have quadrupled over the last four decennaries to estimated sum of 8.17billion dozenss in 2008 ( UNCTAD, 2009 ) . In Ghana the maritime industry which includes Ship-owners Agents Association of Ghana ( SOAG ) and Ghana Insitute of Freight Forwarders ( GIFF ) has besides been dominant in respects to part to the economic system. Ghana ‘s two major active havens, Tema Port and Takoradi Port ( CIA, 2010 ) is regulated by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority ( OT Africa Line ‘s conveyance Report, 2006 ) .

The attempts to make a transparent and contributing environment to advance efficiency in making concern in the ports led to the formation of the Ghana Shippers ‘ Council whose chief aim is to protect and advance the involvement of the Ghanese shippers. Over the old ages, Ghana ‘s lading throughput has increased from 5,481thousand metric metric tons in 1970 to 10, 954,967million metric metric tons in 2008 ( Pedersen, 2001 ; Ghana Shippers ‘ Council, 2009 ) . The huge increase is as a consequence of population addition ( CIA, 2010 ) over the decennaries which has unusually influenced the high ingestion rate of both domestic and international goods. The usage of the havens by the landlocked states including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger has besides contributed to the increase. Roso ( 2008 ) claim that “population growing and increased economic activity consequence in growing of maritime container conveyance accordingly making growing of land surface freight transport” .

However the increases is soon impacting ports operations and concern due to inadequate land infinite in the port country and beyond in footings of route congestion by inflow of trucks ensuing in slow turnaround clip. And for Ghana ‘s havens to keep its competitory border over its rivals ( neighbouring ports ) , a more proactive attack is required to travel lading which is destined into the backwoodss and neighboring landlocked states off from the havens. Caesar, et Al. ( 2007 ) stated that the agencies by which people have shaped the landscape over clip has become pressing for concerns and authoritiess concerns about the sustainability of energy, conveyance, nutrient, H2O, etc.

3.0 PROJECT DEVELOPMENT Plan

The Project Developement Planning Department of Ghana Shippers ‘ Council ( GSC ) will join forces with Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority ( GPHA ) , the Ministry of Transportation and the private sectors to set up an inland or dry port with modern railroad web in the state. This can be recognised as the agencies of utilizing competition and community to supply the transit services that the private market does non or can non provide ( Lang, 1999 ) . The developement of the rail conveyance manner is as a consequence of the lifting oil monetary values ( Kent, 2008 ) . Despite the fact that route conveyance in Ghana remains a major consumer of oil which affects the monetary values of all goods and services ( Martey, 2006 ) , in prolonging concerns and the conveyance sector the lone effectual option agencies will be the development of an extended railroad web. The envisage undertaking is anticipated to be undertaken in 15 old ages. These will be done within specific periods ; short term ( 3-5 old ages ) , average term ( 6-10 old ages ) and long term ( 11-15 old ages ) . The undertakings are outline below ;

  • Short term – building of inland port in the state 2nd largest metropolis, rehabilitation and enlargement of the bing railroad lines of Tema and Takoradi Ports.
  • Medium term – building of railroad lines from the inland port to the northern part of the state.
  • Long term – extension of the railroad lines from the northern portion of Ghana to Burkina Faso

3.1 The short term

The proposed inland port will be constructed in Boankra, a suburb of Kumasi the 2nd capital metropolis of Ghana after the capital, Accra. Kumasi was chosen for the undertaking because of its strategic geographical location doing it the cardinal transit nexus between the North and South of Ghana as shown in the figure 1. Furthermore Kumasi forms a conveyance hub for both domestic and international route traffic, with important trading activities happening in its big local market ( KPMG, 2008 ) . The location of the inland port as shown in figure 2 will associate the major ports to the shippers in interior parts of the state and beyound since bulk of goods and services meant for northbound is conveyed through Kumasi. This can ease the theodolite trade of Ghana ‘s landlocked states including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Roso and Leveque ( 2002, p.50 ) viewed an inland port as “an inland terminal straight connected to havens ( s ) with high capacity of trannsport mean ( s ) , where clients can leave/pick up their standardised units as if straight to a seaport.”

The Boankra Inland Port will supply services such as terminal, storage, consolidation, path and monitoring, care of containers and custom clearance ( Woxenius et al. , 2004 ) . Meanwhile the state ‘s century-old railroad web in Tema and Takoradi will undergo rehabilitation, enlargement and modernization of the railroad lines to associate the Tema Port railroad web through Koforidua and Nkawkaw to the Boankra Inland Port in Kumasi whereas Takoradi Port will manuevre through Huni Valley and Dunkwa. However the public presentation of the inland port will be determine by the quality of the road-rail interface and its entree into the port every bit good as the behavior of the port governments, terminus operators, conveyance operators and cargo forwarders ( de Langen and Chouly, 2004 ) . The undertaking when managed decently could go Ghana ‘s hub-and-spoke for container cargos.

Furthermore the Council ‘s chief challenge at this phase of the undertaking is acquiring the transit and logistics companies, cargo forwarders and uncluttering agents, exporters and importers to take part in the apparatus and the manner the rail services will be run. Besides the paradigm of transit and making concern in the havens will alter as the shippers will be relieved of going to the Council to do complains of their cargo.

3.2 Average term

Ghana Shippers ‘ Council can capitalize on the building of the Boankra Inland Port by supplying railroad web through which supplies can be made to the northern portion of the state. Transportation services play a cardinal function in the seamless supply concatenation activities, conveying inward stuffs from upstream to fabricating factilities, distribution centres and presenting finished merchandises to downstream ( Fox, 1993 ) . Harmonizing to Mustapha ( 2007 ) the state ‘s railroad system histories for merely 4 % of the bulk hualage activity. And these activities is chiefly centred in the south West of the state as shown in figure 1 due to the big minierals sedimentation in that part. So the medium term will affect two stages of the undertaking. The first stage will concentrate on the building of new standard guage railroad lines from Kumasi to Bolgatanga in the Upper East part, whiles the 2nd stage be focus on Kumasi to Tumu in the Upper West Region. As shown in the map ( figure 1 ) , from Kumasi, the building of the railroad path will go through through Kintampo-Buipe-Tamale-Bolgatanga on the north-east side whiles the north-west railroad path will maneuvre through Wenchi-Bole-Wa-Tumu on the other side.

3.3 Long term

Similarly, the envisage blue-sky long term undertaking will concentrate on the extension of the railroad web from Bolgatanga in the utmost North of Ghana to Niamey, the capital metropolis of Niger. The railroad path will be extended from Bolgatanga-Navrongo-Po-Manga-Ouagadougou to Niamey. Ouagadougou is the capital metropolis of Burkina Faso. The map of West Africa demoing the landlocked states is shown in figure 4 of the appendix. This will besides back up the flow of conatiner cargo to and from the backwoodss in the landlocked states particularly the towns around the metropoliss ; Ouagadougou and Niamey

In execution of the undertaking, one of the biggest challenge in the medium and long term as claimed by Roso ( 2008 ) will be the intermodal processs of the container motion system. Thus the administrative work and supervising the agreement of transhipment containers from the two major havens straight onto the train for the on passenger car to the inland port. Monitoring such cargo requires an effectual and efficient information and communicating technology- package system that can help in supplying greater security and safety of container lading ( Rahimi et al. , 2008 ) .MoreoverGhana Shippers ‘ Council must guarantee that the building of the inland port will cut down the entire theodolite clip of the lading. Simultaneously the Council must guarantee that the transit cost will non transcend the earlier cost of utilizing the route transit. The package system will convey alterations and better the Council ‘s responsibilities. Therefore by assisting the Council in monitoring and accessing relevant maritime informations of shippers, shippping lines and lading throughputs for its research work. Though the package will rush up glade and forwarding documantations, it will besides assist the council to acknowledge the gross accrue to the authorities. Finally the undertaking will assist the Council to offer common aid to shippers in the conveyance concatenation by pass oning and interchanging relevant information associating to international trade.

4.0 SUSTAINABLE BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES OF THE PROJECT

The benefits of Boankra Inland Port to Ghana Shipper ‘s Council, stakeholders, shippers and the state as a whole is outlined below ;

Economic

The undertaking will decongest the state ‘s havens. This will ensue to operational efficiency into the port thereby cut downing the hazard of lead times of ships and trucks which will be in the involvement of all port users in their supply concatenation activities.

The undertaking will enable the creative activity and publicity of Export Processing Zones around the inland port and its environments. Albaum et Al. ( 2002 ) viewed export treating zones as an country where foreign makers are exempted from revenue enhancements for the importing of intemediate goods and industrial ordinances. It will besides hike the domestic exportation of some resources including shea butter, chocolate and chocolate merchandises, Cola nuts, moringa, benne seeds, wood and wood merchandises which are cultivated in the center and nort of the state.

The undertaking will cut down the overall cost of transit to importers and exporters from the center and northern portion of the state. Furthermore the cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency of the major havens will ease greater degrees of international trade with the landlocked states.

The creative activity of dry port will perchance increase the lading throughput without physical enlargement of the havens.

Environmental

Harmonizing to Rahimi et Al. 2008 ) the inland port will cut down the entire truck-miles travelled. Mensah ( 2008 ) claim that it will besides forestall over-aged lorries on the roads and extinguish the legion checkpoints on the route since this factor contribute to the hold to shippers ladings. Equally, Asmah ( 2005 ) suggested that the envisage undertaking will restrict heavy route traffic and congestion, high route care costs, route accidents and environmentall polution.

Social

Finally the undertaking will escalate the creative activity and development of communities around the inland port and railroad terminuss. These because of the basic infrastructural aminities such as H2O supply, electricity, sewerage, telecomminications, estates, etc which will be provided and other auxillary supoort services including Bankss, infirmaries, etc at these countries. These societal supports enable people to populate and work with self-respect. Transportation connect communities in the economic shadows to countries where there is high economic activity ( Marketing Development & A ; Consulting Group, 2001 ) . Thus the transit connect the community with distant markets countries and concern Centres, people and eductional options. Therefore intermodal transit will take to rapid socio-economic growing in the state through occupation creative activity. This will cut down or extinguish the human assets lost through route accidents.

Above all the fact that extended railroad web and commercial usage of the inland waterway ensures less environmental impact, the execution of the undertaking itself in happening an amicable manner of bettering cargo is sustainable.

5.0 THE ROLE OF INLAND PORT AND RAILWAY NETWORK IN LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT

International competition twosome with integrating of supply concatenation activities is continually transforming the design of merchandises which is moved throughout the universe by assorted conveyance maodes ( Prasad and Sounderpandian, 2003 ) . Mentzer et Al. ( 2001 ) claim that the coaction of logistical flow has by and large been recognised as the requirement for supply concatenation development. In order to increase the efficiency of supply ironss, the logistics and freight direction industry including container ports is sing critical demand for an efficient and flexible integrating of multimodal transit infrastructutre such as route, railroads and waterways and interamodal transit services ( Fierro and Benitez, 2009 ) .

The chief features of the inland port as an intermodal platform covering rail and route from the havens is because of its strategic geographical location associating the in-between and north light fabrication and consumer Centres of the state. Harmonizing to Fierro and Benitez ( 2009 ) the intermodality will besides help the integrating of the operations and implies decisive synergisms in the logistics concatenation required by distribution channels and logistics operators to distributers, jobbers, importers and exporters, mills, end-users and consumers. Since the handiness of the transit modes to clients and warehouse locations, bringing clip, dependability and costs finally besides determines the efficiency of the supply concatenation ( Rodrigue, 2008 ) . Therefore the building of the Boankra Inland Port will make a distinguishable environment for the creative activity, development and extension of cognition in the countries of logistics and supply concatenation particularly associating to the cargo of trade goods.

Rail freighting offer the advantage of traveling big measure of lading over long distances at greater velocity ( CIPS, 2003 ) which will assist in restricting the cargo traffic from the state ‘s limited and engorged roads. Gubbins ( 1988 ) claim that rail freghting is most economical or cheaper per tonne-kilometre in complete train burden operations compared to the route cargo. Research conducted by Bohlen et Al. ( 1993 ) revealed that cargo conveyance by rail contruibutes fewer environmental nuisances than route in regrads to resound pollution and C dioxide emissions thereby doing it more environmentally-friendly. Similarly, based on consistent surveies and findings, Whitelegg ( 1997 ) pointed out that by and large rail is about three and a half times more fuel efficient than truck on a ton-miles per gallon footing.

Harmonizing to Roso ( 2007 ) the railroad web associating the major havens to the inland port reduces legion lorries on route ( one train can replace some 30-35 lorries ) . The reverberation is the decrease of figure of lorries on the roads congestion, holds, accidents, route care costs and C emanation. In support of this, Ellwanger ( 1990 ) claim that rail freighting has a better safety records compared to the route conveyance. Besides comparing the land-based manners, the rail conveyance web is least affected by bad conditions. Furthermore Hammah ( 2009 ) claim that the effort to present the axle-load bound for laden trucks in Ghana has failed due to miss of support from its neighbouring states, therefore the constuction of the railroad will protect and forestall the roads from being damaged by the laden lorrries.

6.0 Decision

The bill of exchange of the undertaking cogent evidence beyound every uncertainty that Ghana ‘s economic system will be boosted with the constitution of the inland port and building of an extended railroad web to augment the roadways which is the major manner in the state. Ghana Shippers ‘ Council will besides be able to bring forth adequate financess for the administration and the authorities since the container transportation companies are oblige to pay some per centum sum of containers to be exported or imported.

Ghana will do history if this undertaking becomes a world since South Africa is the lone African state that has an extended railroad web in the continent. Furthermore the intermodal and incorporate logistics platforms will pull new concerns, warehouses, light fabrication and edifice of new industrial workss ito Ghana. The undertakings will hold important decreases in truck-mile travelled and that railroads still remains one of the most sustainable agencies of freight transit.

7.0 Recommendation

It is possible to do a figure of proposals and recommendations in position of the fact that the execution of the undertaking will confront some identifiable challenges.

Construction of shippers ‘ centres: it is imperative to make branch offices of Ghana Shippers ‘ Council across the state at vantage topographic points to make the medium for the creative activity of a cargo market in Ghana, who will besides be look intoing the smooth running of the intermodal services.

Provision of managing equipments: The Council must join forces with all the public and private stakeholders to supply efficient and effectual equal container managing equipments at vantage points along the railroad paths in oredr to ease and rush up the bend arount clip of the trains.

Addressing the challenges of Information technology: The success of the intermodal service will depend on the package programmes that will assist in monitoring and tracking the containers from the port, during the rail journey to the inland port or beyound.

Human resource capacity: The overall success of the whole undertaking will hugly depend on the human capital to be involved in the general executing of the undertaking.

Macro-economic stableness: It every bit important for Ghana ‘s economic system to be stable and turning since the chief aim of the railroad building is to cut down the cost of container transit better than that of the lorries. Failure to accomplish sound macro-economic viability will non do the undertaking feasible.

Appendix

PEST Analysis of Ghana

Political

Ghana enjoys good administration with low political hazard

Suitable policies and concern friendly environment that promotes and protects foreign direct investing ( FDI )

Less restrictive steps on C emanation particularly from the conveyance sector because route is the merely major conveyance manner in the state.

Economic

Ghana has unequal conveyance web system

Capita coat

Social

Ghana has high and skilled labors force

Technological

Developing its engineering base to back up domestic concerns and FDI

Boankra Inland Port

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