Can you please provide us with a brief history of Greenline Logistics’ operations in Ghana, highlighting any major milestones?

Greenline Logistics is a 100% Ghanaian company that was established in 1994 to provide transport services for explosive goods to the mining sector. Over the years, our business has diversified to include logistics management, clearing, forwarding, equipment rental, warehousing, and haulage. In 2007, the Jubilee Fields discovery brought new companies to Ghana and created a need for accommodation for their employees. In response, we launched Westport Realty & Management, a sister company to Greenline Logistics that is responsible for constructing and developing real estate. We began operations in Takoradi and in 2011 established a second office in Tema, with a workforce of 90 employees. This gives us the capabilities to service both ports and to have convenient access to Accra.

How important is the oil and gas sector to your business?

We do not currently work directly with any clients from the oil and gas sector, but it is an area we are committed to expanding into. Ghana is now producing commercial quantities of oil, providing significant stimulus to the economy and creating a boom in the petroleum sector. Our business began in Takoradi, and we have seen the influx of oil companies there. The new future of the city and of the country is tied to oil. Greenline Logistics has recently registered as a service provider with the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC) as we see servicing clients from this industry as a major focus for our operations in the coming years. In particular, our real estate division is targeted to oil and gas clients, and we have significant plans for growth in this part of our business. We are building a concrete factory that will give us a supply of 80,000 blocks per day; these will largely be sold to developers but will also enhance our ability to rapidly develop new sites. Equipment rental is another focus for growth, and we are looking to expand our fleet to better provide for the needs of oil and gas companies.

What are the major challenges to operating in Ghana?

The level of infrastructure in Ghana is the key challenge for logistics companies and any companies with serious operations in the country. For Greenline Logistics, it is important that we can guarantee the timely arrival of our equipment to our clients, and this is difficult with the current state of roads and other communications links in Ghana. Delays are not the only problem that the country’s road network can cause; the uneven surfaces heighten wear and tear on our machines and can lead to expenses further down the line. The other issue when considering oil and gas is that it is an industry in which services companies have to rely, to some extent, on speculation. The rate of production from oil fields is not reliable, and the surges and downturns have an instant impact on our business. Many companies will make large investments or diversify their services anticipating growth that never comes. There is no clear-cut plan for the future of oil production in Ghana; new sites may be discovered tomorrow that could shift the focus of the industry away from Takoradi. Managing our growth so that we develop sustainably but can be responsive to the fluctuations of the oil industry is a major challenge.

Will your growth strategy be to continue focusing on serving the Ghanaian market, or do you have any plans for regional expansion?

Ghana will continue to be our core market, but we are interested in expanding our operations into Cóte d’Ivoire and also considering other markets. There is not a strong tradition of Ghanaian companies expanding outside of the national borders when compared with, for example, Nigerian companies.

You may also be interested in...