A combined GPS/RFID system for improved cross-border management of freight consignments
Hoffman, Alwyn J.
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Inefficiency of road freight transport is one of the primary factors that hamper the economy of sub-Saharan Africa. Long delays experienced at border posts are the single biggest contributor towards the slow average movement of freight. Cross-border operations are complicated by the conflicting security objectives of customs authorities versus efficiency objectives of transport operators. It furthermore suffers from illegal practices involving truck drivers and customs officials. In theory the efficiency of cross-border operations can be improved based on the availability of more accurate and complete information - the latter will be possible if different stakeholders can exchange data between currently isolated systems. This paper firstly quantifies the size of the problem and estimates the potential economic benefits that will be created by improved cross-border operations. It then proposes a combined GPS/RFID system that can provide the required level of visibility to support improved operational management, resulting in a simultaneous increase in the security and efficiency of cross-border freight operations. A brief cost-benefits analysis is performed to show that the expected benefits from such a system will by far exceed the costs of implementation