The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and its partner, Auto Consult Ventures Limited (ACVL), will begin implementing the Truck and Trailer Identification and Inspection policy at the port in the second week of February.
This means that all trucks operating in the Port of Tema must be vetted, registered, and given Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags before being allowed entrance to the port’s multiple terminal gates.
Baffour Adjei Mensah, Director of Operations at Auto Consult Ventures Limited (ACVL), the Port Authority’s technical partner, indicated that the public engagement effort was prompted by the Port Authority’s safety and security concerns.
“We have all seen numerous times where containers have split off their trailers in the port and that is often because the securing components are not well functioning. We have also witnessed situations whereby trailers, while exiting the eastern gate and ascending the GHACEM road, decouple from the truck heads. All these cause accidents. When these happen, they do not affect only the said cargo but everybody operating in the port,” Mr Mensah explained.
He revealed that over 20,000 trucks were expected to be registered for the truck identification programme, adding that 2,630 trucks had already been registered.
The ACVL’s Director of Operations spoke more about the registration dynamics for different types of truckers.
He said, “A trailer can be decoupled and coupled with any other truck depending on what type of cargo it going to carry. They will be treated separately. But while they are entering the port they are going be treated as one. We are going to identify the head and give it a code and also identify the trailer. So, if today, you are going to enter the port with a flatbed trailer and tomorrow you enter with a bucket trailer, with this information system, all that would be provided to the port.”
He allayed the concerns of truckers and carriers who see the system as a danger to their livelihoods.
Mr. Adjei Mensah said, “When a truck is being inspected for the port road worthiness, all defects that are found are put on a report and given to the transporter. They are given enough time to operate while they fix the defect. It does not mean when we find a defect today, instantly we do not give you access- you are given enough time. Unless the defect we find is so massive that it cannot carry cargo.”
He explained that the system is intended to encourage frequent and adequate truck maintenance, which would significantly reduce the number of truck breakdowns in and around the port, as well as enhance port turnaround times.
ACVL’s IT Manager, Peter Calver Mensah, also revealed that the company’s system had been synchronised with GPHA’s IT systems to assure data security.
Following two years of thorough engagement, executives at Auto Consult Ventures Limited stated that the system had been widely accepted by all stakeholders.