The transport and logistics Industry plays a major role in the growth of the regional economies. Transporters and freight forwarders have been playing this key role to ensure all national economies are supported to remain interdependent. The outbreak of the novel corona virus disease (COVID 19) pandemic is threatening this critical sector following introduction of numerous restrictions on almost all modes of human and cargo transport in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
Most of the EAC partner states went into lock down to contain the spread. Despite this, movement of cargo across borders was not stopped. This made it possible for cargo planes and trucks to continue moving across borders.
Unfortunately, movement of cargo across borders is slowly becoming a major channel for the spread of COVID-19 threatening to erode the progress made in all countries. With the transport and logistics industry slowly becoming the new epicenter for the spread of COVID19 in the region especially for the hinterland partner states, more stringent measures have been instituted including relay driving, testing of truck drivers and offloading cargo at border points among others. More continue to be introduced.
FEAFFA appreciates self-policing and has therefore been working on several initiatives to ensure the industry is able to direct, police and monitor itself through generally accepted operating procedures. The industry also realized its incredibly unique nature making it difficult to plug and play the numerous procedures currently in place. In view of this, FEAFFA with support by Trademark East Africa (TMEA) has finalized the development of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the freight logistics industry in East Africa.
The SOPs will guide day-to-day operations of industry players within East Africa as they continue providing the essential freight logistics services while maintaining the highest health and safety standards against the COVID-19. They focus on customs agents and freight forwarders warehouses, inland container depots, truckers, and related offices.
The SOPs were developed by a consultant and a team of industry experts in cargo transport, Warehousing, Freight Forwarding and Customs clearance operations.