Trucks operating in the Port of Tema would from the second week of February be required to be verified, registered, and issued with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags before accessing the various terminal gates within the port.
The RFID tags, which falls under the Truck and Trailer Identification and Inspection Policy, would be implemented by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), and its technical partners, Auto Consult Ventures Limited (ACVL).
Mr Baffour Adjei Mensah, Director of Operations at ACVL, engaging the media explained that the policy was to address safety and security concerns by the Port Authority.
Mr Mensah 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.
He explained that both the head and the trailer of a truck would be given identification codes, “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 said trailers could be decoupled and coupled with any other truck depending on what type of cargo it was going to carry, therefore, they would be treated separately. However, they would be treated as one as and when they enter the port.
He said the policy would not threaten the businesses of truckers and transporters. According to him, the system had rather been designed to encourage regular and appropriate maintenance of trucks to drastically reduce incidents of trucks breakdown in and around the port environs. This, he said, would also help improve turnaround time in the Tema Port.
“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 functioning well.
“We have also witnessed situations where 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 only affect the said cargo, but everybody operating in the port,” he stated.
Mr Mensah said all defects detected on a truck during inspection for the port road worthiness would be put on a report and given to the transporter, noting that they would then be 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 added.