The Revenues and Customs Authority of Ethiopia is to launch an electronic cargo tracking system on the road between Addis Ababa and Port Djibouti.
The effort, which will commence in two weeks, expects to track and monitor the transit of goods, to reduce customary theft that added up to 1.4% of commodities exported in the last fiscal year according to statistics from the International Cargo Securities Council.
Such acts of theft have negatively affected the image of Ethiopian exports on the international market claimed Belay Desta, Head of the Border Directorate with ERCA.
Efforts to control the crime through manual checks have not been successful with criminals getting more sophisticated said Belay.
The electronic tracking system is expected to keep customs informed of the activity of each truck on the Addis-Djibouti corridor, from departure to arrival in real time.
The system makes use of radio frequency identification to inform the authority of tampers with container seals, stops and starts. Authorities at all stations can lock the trucks activate the alert system, and notify other stations.
An armed patrol will arrive on location in response to an alert from the alarm ensuring the safety of imports and exports said Belay.
All containers and bulk cargo trucks will need to be fitted with electronic tracking devices, including locks and seals and GPRS modems. ERCA has selected eight stations for the system, Modjo Dry Port, Addis Ababa Commercial Goods, Adama Customs Station, Addis Ababa Export and Government Goods, Galafi Entry Station, Mille Checkpoint, Awash Station and Djibouti.
The electronic tracking system to be adopted by ERCA was developed by the American HI-G-TEK company at a cost of 2.5 million US dollars. The agreement was reached in January of 2011.
The electronic devices to operate the tracking system are expected to be purchased by Transport companies and truck owners from an authorized supplier and are estimated to cost 20,000 birr for each truck.
Transport companies and truck owners providing services on the corridor are required to buy and install the electronic devices from an authorized supplier, at an estimated cost of 20,000 Br a truck.
ERCA has invited local IT companies with 20 million birr registered capital and a minimum five year contract with a major supplier and able to present a 2 million birr performance bond to apply to supply and install the units.
ERCA expects to extend the electronic tracking system to other highways.
Source: Addis Fortune