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Tanzania Adopts SGS RFID Cargo Tracking

The nation is the third to approve the SGS OMNIS Solution—consisting of Savi Technology's sensors, active RFID readers and software—to track the movements of cargo and when it might be diverted or stolen during transit.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 18, 2013

Following a one-year demonstration of an automated supply chain management solution from SGS, using Savi Technology location- and sensor-based technology, the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has certified the solution for full deployment to reduce the risk of cargo being stolen or diverted while in transit. The system was tested on one supply chain route, and is now being expanded this month with transportation companies using the technology within another corridor. Cargo travels from the seaport in Dar es Salaam to neighboring countries, such as Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), at a rate of approximately 15,000 loads per month.

Under a TRA mandatory program, trucks carrying goods through Tanzania must be equipped with an electronic identification system that links a unique ID number to each vehicle and its owner. Data regarding the movements of the goods transported by that vehicle is then stored on the TRA's server. The TRA has recruited five suppliers of tracking technologies to sell their solutions directly to transporters and cargo owners. One TRA-approved electronic-tracking solution is being provided by SGS and Savi, according to Philippe Isler, the global business-development manager at SGS' governments and institutions services (GIS) division.

SGS, a global company headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, provides inspection, testing and certification services, as well as a solution known as SGS OMNIS, for supply chain security management. SGS OMNIS utilizes Savi Technology hardware and software that combines GPRS, GPS and active RFID technologies, along with a variety of sensors, to capture and store information about the conditions of a truck or railcar load of cargo, as well as if someone might be attempting to access the goods along the supply chain (see RFID News Roundup: Savi Teams With SGS on Tracking Services, Intros New Software).

The SGS OMNIS system has been adopted by government agencies in Kenya, Ghana and, most recently, Tanzania, in order to obtain data about the supply chain of cargo, as well as create a record of their movements along traffic routes. The Savi technology, known as the Savi Mobile Tracking System, includes hardware installed on vehicles with a variety of sensors (such as those for monitoring temperature, humidity, light or pressure) to detect and transmit data regarding the load, according to William Clark, Savi's president and CEO. The Savi system also includes software that receives, manages and stores that information and provides alerts as necessary. Savi Technology hosts the server on which that data is stored and then shared with the TRA and logistics companies.

To determine whether the SGS OMNIS solution could effectively collect data and provide necessary alerts, Isler says, the TRA first allowed the solution to be tested on one corridor on which trucks and railcars travel. Now that the agency has certified the technology, SGS plans to offer its solution in additional corridors throughout Tanzania, expanding the coverage one corridor at a time.

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