East Africa to Track Trucks from Mombasa Port to Stop Theft

(BBC News)–East African customs authorities have adopted an electronic system to track lorries traveling between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to speed up journeys.

The trackers will allow officials and traders to monitor trucks traveling to and from the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

A device will be attached to vehicles and is intended to help prevent hijacks and goods being tampered with.

Uganda, which pioneered the project, says journey times could be cut from three-and-a-half days to just 36 hours.

Detours detected

The geo-mapping, known as the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking (RECT), will apply to the main road stretching from Mombasa port to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, known as the “Northern Corridor”.

Officials will be able to monitor journeys on a map and be able to immediately detect any detours.

About 90% of goods through the region are transported by road with the risk of cargo being targeted by criminals.

Customs officials say drivers have also been known to take diversions and siphon off freight, for example offloading coffee and adding stones to make up the missing weight.

“There has always been that unpredictable aspect of not knowing whether your goods will reach or they won’t reach and that in itself is a very serious discomfort, now this will resolve that problem,” Kassim Omar, chairman of the Association of Clearing and Forwarding Agents in Uganda, told the BBC at the launch in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.

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