TITLEAn Assessment of Feeder Vessel Operation in Ghana-Thecase of African Independent Feeder Ghana LimitedINTRODUCTIONFromthe beginning of containerization, it was commonly believed that shuttleoperations could decrease the cost of container liners (McKinsey, 1967). Therequired shuttle transportation could be executed by road, rail and sea feederservice modes depending on specific situations. Rail service could be aneffective inland transportation mode as long as distance, volume and geographicconditions were appreciable. Road transportation mode could be selected in lowvolume short distance cases where rail service was not provided and also forthe fulfillment of door-to-door services and sea feeder service could bepreferred on relatively long distances where geographically appreciable demandexisted (Jansson and Shneerson 1982). Afeeder service has been defined by the American Association of State Highwayand Transportation Officials (AASHTO) glossary as “a transportation operationin which cargoes are shipped by water in smaller vessels to and from aload-center port for loading or unloading respectively from ocean goingvessel”. Most shipping lines have a sailing schedule before their vessel setsoff to sea, and the size of most of these vessels do not permit them to callsome of the smaller ports in the world. For instance most vessels call portKlang, Malaysia’s busiest port to redistribute their cargoes to the other partsof the world especially for Africa (Tamadan 2007).
These cargoes aretransshipped by other smaller vessels suitable for the quantity of cargoes tocarry to their final destination points. There are other lines which call aparticular country but may not call all the ports in that country; hence thecargoes are discharged at that country’s main or largest port to betransshipped to the other ports. Thereis therefore the need for vessels that will feed larger ocean going vesselswith cargoes from the smaller ports and vice versa. Ghanahas 539 km coastline and two deep artificial harbours, one at Tema and theother located at Takoradi.
The two seaports, Tema and Takoradi have seadistance of 104 nautical miles (nm) between them. Practically all the seabornetrade of Ghana is done through them (Pedersen, 2001).BACKGROUNDTheoperation of a feeder service in Ghana is an idea which many stakeholders andindividuals in the country take a crucial interest in. It is a very importantissue as far as transportation in the country is concerned. There is littledevelopment in the country’s laws and regulations with regards to feederoperation within the country. A company has taken interest in feeder operationin Ghana which signifies a great development in the country’s transportationsystem. The stakeholders and operators of the African Independent Feeder GhanaLimited (AIFEEDER) have become aware of the possibility of the marketopportunities for container feeder service in Ghana and is therefore the onlyprovider of such service hence prides itself as the only indigenous coastalservice provider in Ghana.
InGhana, there are two ports namely the Tema and Takoradi Ports which facilitatesthe country’s sea borne trade (GPHA, 1991). With Tema Port being the larger ofthe two ports, most lines have the major port of call to be Tema due to thesize of the vessels and their draft hence, they have other vessels which callTakoradi ports when they have cargoes destined to that port. Others do not havea port call to Takoradi at all. Recently, due to the renovation works at theTakoradi port, large sized vessels cannot call that port consequently there isthe need to utilize the feeder service for the transportation of cargo destinedfor Takoradi after discharge in Tema.STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMThemotivation for undertaking this research lies mainly in the value that feedervessel operation brings to any country in terms of trade facilitation.
Movementof cargo in Ghana is made possible by variety of means of transport asmentioned in the introduction. This research focuses exclusively on the feederoperation in Ghana. As this research assesses the role of feeder operation inGhana, some important questions may be generated. Sincethe establishment of feeder service in Ghana, there has been a challenge incargo imbalance to and from the Tema and Takoradi ports which threatensmaintaining its future sustainability. Also, there has been an increase in thedeterioration of roads due to constant usage of it by heavy trucks. The risingnumbers of accidents on the roads also lead to destruction of cargo, loss oflife and property. Moreover, the use of feeder vessels will eliminaterestriction in ports concerned with respect to mega sized vessels which willminimize the level of port congestion being experienced presently.
RESEARCHOBJECTIVE Toassess feeder vessel operation in cargo transportation between Tema andTakoradi ports. SPECIFICOBJECTIVES · To ascertain the comparative costadvantage between feeder vessels and trucks. · To establish the challenges facingfeeder operation in Ghana.
· To establish the benefits of feederservice to the shipper, shipping lines, service provider and the nation as awhole.· To ascertain the sustainability of thevessel operations over the long term in Ghana.RESEARCH QUESTIONSTheresearch will seek to answer the following related questions;· What is the comparative advantagebetween feeder vessels and trucks?· What are the challenges facing feederoperation in Ghana?· How is the service beneficial to theshipper, the service provider and the nation as a whole? · Will the service be sustainable over thelong term?METHODOLOGYTheconduct of this research involves the following:i.An expansive literature review on the feeder vessel operation and itssustainability in Ghana in order to develop a research hypothesis.ii.
Carrying out a primary research into the role of feeder vessel operation incargo transportation in Ghana precisely between the Tema and Takoradi ports inwhich the case study method will be used, supplemented by questionnaires andinterviews. As such relevant information with regards to the feeder service inGhana, its benefits and comparative advantage will be deduced for the analysis.iii.Interviewing the personnel of some shipping lines, the Ghana Ports and HarbourAuthority (GPHA), truck owners associations and the service provider that is AfricanIndependent Feeder Services (AIFEEDER).
iv.Distributing questionnaires to several stakeholders to gauge their responses toseveral questions on the feeder vessel operation.v.Making statistical and descriptive analysis so as to extract practical, logicaland relevant findings from the data collected. Statistical analyses will bemade using tables, percentages and graphs while the interpretation andconclusion of the survey will be descriptive. The data collected will also beanalyzed by making inferences from the interviews conducted.vi.Data analysis using the SPSS software.
Statistical tests will be run to ensurethat results reflect the true nature of the research.TIME SCALEJanuary10th- February 20th 2018: review of literatureFebruary21st –March 15th 2018: draft literature reviewMarch16th –April 1st 2018: review research methods literatureand agree research strategyApril2nd – April 15th 2018: agree formal access to three organizationsfor collection of primary dataApril16th –April 20th 2018: compile, pilot and revise questionnaireApril20th – April 22th 2018: administer questionnaireApril23rd – April 26th 2018: final collection of questionnaires andanalysis of dataApril27th – May 15th 2018–February 2009: completion of firstdraft of project reportMay16th –June 16th 2018: final writing of project reportRESOURCESTheresources to be used for the research work include computer hardware andsoftware which I have access to. The organization to be used in the case studyhas granted the necessary permission as well as the other stakeholderorganizations. I have the full support of the organization being used in thecase study.
REFERENCESMcKinseyC (1967) Containerization: The Key toLow-Cost Transportation. Report to the British Transport Docks Board,JanssonJO, Shneerson D (1982) The design ofliner shipping series: the problem of feeder services versus multi-port-calls.Maritime Policy & Management 9 (3):175-188Pedersen,Poul Ove (2001) Transport underglobalization and its impact on Africa. Journal of Transport Geography,forthcoming.PolatO, Günther H-O, Kulak O (2013) The LinerShipping Feeder Network Design Problem. Flexible Services and ManufacturingJournal (Submitted)