This month, Meridian Port Services (MPS), located in the Port of Tema, achieved an all-time productivity record of 139.91 moves/hour. This comes shortly after the terminal welcomed the first call of the Hapag Lloyd MIAX service for the transhipment of fresh fruit onto the WAX service destined for Belgium, Europe.
These new developments are the result of a 1-billion-euro investment, completed earlier this year, as well as legal reforms to enable transhipment. “The new MPS Terminal 3 has the ideal characteristics required of hub ports around the world,” said Mr. Mohamed Samara, Chief Executive Officer of MPS.
“These include; high efficiency levels, accessibility, frequency of calls, number of shipping lines, short waiting times at anchorage, fast vessel turnaround time, higher port capacity, and berth availability as well as the highest throughput per vessel call in West Africa.
The MSC LIVORNO, part of a fleet of Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV) deployed on the MSC’s Africa Express (AFEX) weekly service into Ghana, achieved 145.86 moves/hour after adjusting the permissible deductible times. This far exceed the previous record of 112 moves/hour which was achieved on MSC ALTAIR that berthed at Terminal 3 on 15th May 2020. This new record is thought to be the best on the West African Coastline.
Faster transit times
Hapag Lloyd’s decision to use MPS Terminal 3’s expanded connectivity, capacity and capabilities to tranship between South Africa and Europe was announced in October 2019 and subject to the successful completion of the Tema Port Expansion Project. The new MIAX (Middle East-India-Africa Express) service is designed to offer direct connections and fast transit times between the Persian Gulf, India, Colombo (Sri Lanka), La Réunion through to South and West Africa.
“The new MIAX service enables us to offer our customers very attractive transit times between South and West Africa, Middle East and India, at the same time, we are integrating Africa even more tightly into our global network” says Samad Osman, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd’s Area Africa.
Removing legal barriers
Mr Frank Ebo Brown, Head of Legal and Compliance at MPS, recognised the support of the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority in making this possible, saying: “Since identifying the legal barriers to facilitate transhipment trade, they have advocated and worked together with us on amending the old transhipment laws to allow a much more robust and fluid transhipment process to reflect present happenings in major shipping hubs”.
Commenting on the new development, Board Chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr. Peter Mac Manu emphasized that Ghana was ready as a nation to consolidate the gains from this partnership.
“With the rolling out of the Africa Free Continental Trade Agreement (AfFCTA), Ghana is in a position to harness this opportunity in the areas of job creation and trade facilitation. The creation of direct services and reduction in the transit times will result clear trade efficiency. He added that this will significantly open up the economy to more industries and sustainable investments.” Mr. Mac Manu said.
MPS is a joint venture between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (30%), APM Terminals (35%) and Bolloré Transport and Logistics (35%).