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Tanzania urged to adopt freight exchange mechanism

TANZANIA has been urged to seize an opportunity to swiftly adopt and utilize a freight exchange tool called E-Freightex that will easily facilitate transporters in the East African region cut cost and gain more profits.

A freight exchange is an online service which allows truck owners to search for advertisements of cargo which need to be transported and freight forwarders or business people search for available trucks to transport their cargo.

Freight Exchange concept was introduced in Dar es Salaam recently during a sensitization workshop on the East African Online Portal for Trading in Freight Services (E-Freightex) organized by TradeMark East African (TMEA) and Tanzania Trade Development Authority (Tantrade).

In his presentation a Consultant with TMEA Mr. David Adolwa called on Tanzania to adopt the system because the country has huge potential in transport and logistics due to its strategic position.

“If there is anything Tanzania could do to boost its economy is to improve is its transport sector. You need to change the transport sector to be more efficient because the potential of business in Tanzania and in East Africa is huge,” said Mr Adolwa.

According to him there is huge potential in Agriculture whereby a lot of food crops need to be transported from one corner to another due to the high demand of food caused by drought in some parts of the region.

“Trucks should follow business. They should take goods from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi and go back to Dar es Salaam through Mtwara. It won’t be a usual one-way journey for trucks anymore,” the consultant said

Freight exchange is a worldwide mechanism but in EAC region it will be locally developed as E-Freightex and it is expected to be operational in two years time.

It is yet to be decided who will own the system but the developers believe, from worldwide best practice, the system should be run by private sector.

According to Adolwa, if the system will be able to reduce 1% of transport cost, then the East African Region will save $166 million in the economy.

Freight exchange systems provide a platform that allows carriers to communicate freight traffic information to fellow operators such as transporters, forwarders and logistics companies. They allow forwarders to advertise their freight either privately or publicly to a large number of freight operators that are looking for cargo.

They also allow freight operators to offer vehicle space. Online systems are normally subscription-based with a small charge for advertising (posting) and searching (consulting).

By Faraja Mgwabati