This week we spoke to Globalia member in Tema and Accra, Joseph Biney, CEO of BAJ Freight who tells us about the origins of the company and how they established themselves as a pioneer in the freight forwarding industry of Ghana.
Q. Can you tell us a little more of Baj Freight?
A. BAJ is the acronym for Bart, Ato and Joe. The name BAJ is simply a constant reminder of the hard work of our employees under the skillful management of Mr. Joseph K. Biney, Ato Quagrine and Fred Bart Simpson whose collaboration dates back to thirty-two years ago when they met as employees of Relebo Lines Limited.
Q. When did you decide to become a freight forwarder and how did you get into the industry?
A.I think as long as there is trading, there would be a constant need for freight forwarders. Hence, I thought of my profession as a calling to this need.
Q. What distinguishes BAJ FREIGHT from other freight forwarders in your city?
A. What distinguishes us from other forwarders is that BAJ is a pacesetter in the industry. We seek to get involved in a series of industry pilot programmes and developmental corporate social responsibilities such as the BAJ Freight junior Tennis League.
Q. What has been your greatest success so far?
A. BAJ is the first Local Company to be licensed by the Ghana Nuclear Regulatory Authority to safely transport radioactive cargo to and From Ghana and neighbouring countries for key clients such as Newmont, Schlumberger amongst others. Our company has won:
– 2014, 2015 and 2016.- Oil & Gas Logistics company of the year
– 2014.- First Western Regional Business and Financial Service Excellence Awards
– 2015 & 2016.- Best Freight Forwarding Company & Logistics Company of the year
– 2015.- Customs House Agents Awards(for the third highest revenue collected for Ghana Revenue Authority)
– 2017.- Haulage Company of the year
Q. How did you hear about Globalia? What most attracted you to us?
A. Globalia was recommended by some of my partners in the other freight network associations. BAJ rarely had partners in the areas your members were located hence I felt the need to be a part.
Q. What’s the biggest difficulty in dealing with suppliers/factories?
A. The problem had always been price undercutting, high rates, lack of proper industry information and time constraints.
Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in your country at the moment? How are you dealing with them?
A. Ghana has a high influx of freight forwarders who still practice the old ways of buying and selling freight. Added to this is the frequent price undercutting by other forwarders with less consideration on the cost implication. BAJ has invested in technologies which would allow our clients to track their cargo progress and status. We are currently emphasizing on having a personal interaction with clients to lay more emphasis on quality of service and not accept undercut prices
Q. What would be the most difficult shipment your team has handled to date? How did you handle it?
A.We handled an out of gauge 8.5m exhaust funnel for a thermal plant project where we had to pass under three high tension low hanging poles which connected Ghana, Togo and Cote d’Iovire within 15 minutes. Honestly, I thought this was going to be impossible but we requested the concerned authorities to disconnect the poles one after the other for the funnel to pass and then reconnect the power.
Q. Tell us a funny story about a curious shipment you have handled.
A. A client engaged BAJ for services relating to customs clearance of general goods. Having communicated the ETA of the Vessel to the client, there was an unfortunate incident which delayed the vessel arrival hence the ETA kept changing. After three communication of ETA change, I got to my office, to find our client with a pillow and mattress saying that he will not leave until we confirm that the vessel had arrived. Fortunately for me, that very day, I received an email from the shipping line saying that the vessel had berthed.
Q. How do you see BAJ Freight in 10 years?
A. Within 10 years we aim to be one of the top three logistics company in West Africa, using the most sophisticated technologies and implementing global standards in freight forwarding.