Tanzania Truck Owners Association was in attendance at a high level Project Implementation Committee (PIC) meeting of the Presidents Delivery Bureau (PDB) on the 24th of November 2015. The objectives of the meeting were to identify challenges faced by users and regulators at weighbridge stations, police stops and borders along the central corridor. Also to promote collaboration among the public and private sector stakeholders and obtain on the spot updates on implementation of ongoing activities along the central corridor.
At the meeting, the results of a central corridor road survey conducted in 2015 were presented by TTFA permanent secretariat. The following is a summary of concerns raised by users and operators who contributed to the survey:
- Poor road conditions from Nyakanazi-Rusahunga to Rusumo border.
- Poor knowledge by the drivers on the use of the weigh-in-motion at Vigwaza.
- The use of the same lane of the weigh in motion at Vigwaza by all vehicles passing through the Morogoro road on either direction.
- Long processes during redistribution of cargo in sealed containers which see drivers having to liaise with several stakeholders such as customs, shippers and clearing agents to have their seals broken to enable re-distribution of the cargo.
- Most weighbridges being single axle, forcing trucks to measure one axle after another, increasing the time taken to cross the weighbridges by almost twice the normal two axle weighbridges.
- Police inspections causing long queues near weighbridges.
- Drivers being not paid travelling allowance (mileage), opt not to cross the border until paid.
At the border, users raised their concerns over the lack of banking services on the Tanzanian side, lack of parking space and complaints by drivers on the behavior of most clearing and forwarding agents on the processing of documents. Also, prolonged delays at the border caused by truck owners delaying/failing to make payments of the foreign trucks road usage charge.
Recommendations of the meeting were;
- Standard and regular calibration of weighing scales (static) to be done regularly and uniformly to all the weighbridges. This is to avoid readings discrepancies and variation in weighbridge readings at different weighbridge stations.
- Full implementation of a single custom territory to reduce the waiting time at the border posts.
- Expansion should be done on road side sites for trucks to be checked by the police before proceeding to the weighbridges.
- More sensitization on regulations and procedures for clearance for customs and immigration at the borders.
- Separate lanes to be constructed for traffic which is supposed to be weighed at the weighbridge, furthermore consideration should be made for tankers to be weighed at only some selected weighbridges since they are unlikely to add fuel in between the weighbridges.
- Power availability and number of staff at the borders should be increased to match the level of activity.
- There should be mutual recognition and integration of ECTS data in the region to ensure full cargo tracking for transit goods from the port to destination.
- TANROADS to fast track regular road maintenance on the route
Prepared by George Mshana