GPHA Introduces New Policy For Trucks At Tema Port

From the second week of February, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and its partner, Auto Consult Ventures Limited (ACVL), will begin the implementation of the Truck and Trailer Identification and Inspection policy at the Port.

This means all trucks operating in the Port of Tema would be required to be verified, registered, and issued Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags before being granted access to the various terminal gates within the port.

Engaging the public via the Eye on Port program, Baffour Adjei Mensah, the Director of Operations at Auto Consult Ventures Limited, the technical partner of GPHA, explained that this initiative has been necessitated by safety and security concerns by the Port Authority.

“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 are expected to be registered for the truck identification program, where 2,630 trucks have already been registered.

The Director of Operations at ACVL touched more on the registration dynamics for the various categories 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 flat bed trailer and tomorrow you enter with a bucket trailer, with this information system, all that would be provided to the port.”

He allayed fears of truckers and transporters who felt threatened by the system to their businesses.

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 said the system is designed to encourage regular and appropriate maintenance of trucks which would drastically cut down on the incidents of breakdown of trucks in and around the port environs which would go a long way to improve turnaround time in the port.

IT Manager at ACVL, Peter Calver Mensah also disclosed that its system has been synchronized with GPHA’s IT systems to ensure the security of data.

The officials from the Auto Consult Ventures Limited indicated that the system has been generally bought into by all stakeholders following two years of extensive consultation.

By Vincent Kubi