Economic activities measured by container traffic at both Tema and Takoradi ports – declined by 7.3 percent in first quarter 2020, according to the quarterly bulletin released by the Bank of Ghana.
Container traffic recorded at the two ports recorded a total of 166,685 first quarter this year compared to traffic of 179,727 recorded during the fourth quarter of 2019.
Year-on-year, however, total container traffic increased by 12.6 percent from 166,685 in first quarter this year 2020 to 148,022 for the first quarter of 2019.
According to the report, the relative improvement in port activities may be attributed to an uptick in international trade activities during the period under review.
Since 2016 second quarter, economic activities at the ports had been recording container traffic averagely between 140,000 to 160,000 containers per quarter until a sharp rise during the fourth quarter of last year.
However these statistics were derived before the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana in late March, just as the first quarter was about to end and so the data is not influenced by the Impact of the viral outbreak.
In fact, the novel Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) Pandemic has had debilitating effects on all business and economic activities. Despite the virus gradually dying down in some parts of the globe, economic recovery still remains dim.
Since the virus struck late first quarter 2020, it is expected that container traffic at Ghana’s ports has further declined in the second and third quarters of 2020.
About 85 percent of Ghana’s trade is done through the ports with shipping routes and vessel calls to and from all continents through both direct and transshipment services.
Ghana’s ports receive an average of over 1511 vessel calls per year. These comprise container vessels, general cargo vessels, tankers, Ro-Ro and cruise vessels amongst many others.