East African customs authorities have adopted an electronic system to track lorries travelling between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to speed up journeys, according to Senior Marine Surveyor, DPS Africa, Captain Ahmet Tuna writing in the June edition of IUMI Eye.
The trackers allow officials and traders to monitor trucks travelling to and from the Kenyan port of Mombasa and are intended to help prevent hijackings or goods being tampered with.
Uganda pioneered the project and stated that journey times could also be cut from three-and-a-half days to just 36 hours. The geo-mapping, known as the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking (RECT), applies to the “Northern Corridor”, the main road stretching from Mombasa port to Kigali, capital of Rwanda. The amount of time it takes to clear goods at Mombasa should also be significantly reduced.
It was estimated that a truck spends about 80 hours stuck at border posts while travelling the “Northern Corridor”. With the electronic tagging a driver will be checked and present their papers only once at each border. Captain Tuna said: “We have
handled several cases on behalf of cargo underwriters in Uganda/Rwanda who have suffered huge losses due to a lack of a proper instrument to monitor cargoes while in transit from the port of Mombasa to Rwanda/Uganda, mainly concerning missing cargoes, tampered seals and abandoned vehicles. We are confident that the introduction of this project will assist in monitoring both trucks and containers from the port of Mombasa to the destination, thus reducing transit losses by a huge margin.”