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Chapter one


1.1Background of the study

Management of shipping and port activities have been greatly influenced by globalization. The globalization of the world market and tougher international competition and expansion of geographical markets have forced manufacturers to focus on integrated production and transport service standards

Seen from this perspective, a port’s role should be to rise to the occasion by attempting to satisfy the demands placed upon it by the shipping industry. Consequently, recent developments in the port industry have been largely due to the chain reactions of changes in world trade, and technological advancements that impacted on the shipping industry. Generally tagged globalization, this phenomenon refers to the global sourcing, manufacturing and selling of products, which enhances the acceleration of trade across international boundaries. The concept implies the need for global logistics, which, De Monie (1997 p.2) observed, is demand derived from the globalization of the supply and demand side

Thus, liner shipping will still be characterised by: Take-overs/mergers and alliances into new multinational transport companies acting as logistic providers. Major carriers will lead to a further increase in the number and increasing the size of vessels deployed. The need for major container carriers to upgrade their organisation to offer customer global logistic packages.

The consequences of these are the development of ports and terminals to be able to meet these demands of the liner shipping industry. Port management needs to be flexible, pro-active, autonomous and accountable for its operational and financial performance. Ports will therefore have to re-organise their operations and accept the demands of container services by striving to shorten transit times of containers (by offering the most direct route and maximising direct calls). The aim of this is to reduce the number of ports of call by covering the different sub-regions through a network of feeder services.

Thus, the future of most ports in the world would be centred on developing into any one of the following: Local feeder hubs, Regional feeder hubs, Sub-regional feeder hubs, Pure logistic hubs Ports need to be market places in which international market forces interact with national economies and are able to provide an environment in which the public sector can cope with the provisions. In order for government to be able to meet these challenges, they need to take advantage of opportunities created by international trade/technological advancement, to improve on the level of social and economic development of their countries.

Today, there is convincing evidence that with the economic policy reform in most countries in the West African sub-region, where GDP growth rates are over 5% (SSATP No. 30, 97, 21), they can compete favourably in international maritime transport. GDP improved in Cote d’Ivoire to nearly 7% in 1995 while Ghana, experienced a growth rate of about 6% (SSATP No. 30. 97, 36). The most important step is for countries to move from a no-growth or slow-growth to sustained rapid growth. This will ensure an enabling environment in order to exploit the opportunities at hand.

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