Shipping & logistics

Intelligent system for managing trucks in oil depots

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Oil tankers on the Busia-Uganda border. PHOTO | FILE

Oil trucks must pre-book their trucks for entry and loading at oil facilities as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) begins rolling out the eFuels project under the Regional Electronic Freight Tracking System (RECTS) this month.

Customs and Border Control Commissioner Lilian Nyawanda informed oil stakeholders that the eFuels project will begin rolling out at the Eldoret Kenya Pipeline Depot before it is gradually implemented in other oil facilities. The system will finally be rolled out at all customs clearance points.

“In order to improve the system and its operational efficiency, the authority intends to use a“ van booking ”module in the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS). The module will enable all mineral oil transporters to book their trucks in advance for entry and loading at oil systems via RECTS ”, it says in part of the message to the transporters.

The new van booking module uses a smart gate functionality that only allows trucks booked in advance to access the oil installation facilities for loading and exiting after all customs clearance procedures have been completed.

The prerequisite is that the authorized mineral oil transporters have a valid Transit Goods License (TGL), which can be obtained free of charge directly from the KRA licensing office.

Last year, KRA announced to industry stakeholders in the petroleum industry that the monitoring of white petroleum products under customs control will be carried out exclusively by the RECTS. The installation of the system began in July 2020.

All containerized Transit Cargo & Single Customs Territory (SCT) goods from the port as well as goods subject to excise duty are currently being tracked under RECTS, which was introduced in March last year.

At the level of the East Africa Community (EAC), all partner countries have also introduced the Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System (RECDTS), which, in addition to tracking freight and trucks, enables the issuance of the digital EAC Covid-19 certificates, which are used by the Partner countries are mutually recognized, thereby eliminating the need for multiple tests and also helping to reduce the persistent congestion at border crossing points in East Africa.

RECDTS, a developed mobile phone application, provides a monitoring system for monitoring the health of the crew of long-distance drivers and enables contact tracing. It enables partner states to electronically share truck drivers’ Covid-19 test results, minimizing the need for multiple Covid-19 tests on a single trip.

The reliance on manual certificates and delayed test results was cited as one of the main reasons for long delays at border points such as Busia, Malaba, Nimule and Elegu. Some of the delays have led to long truck journeys, sometimes tens of kilometers.