German firm to introduce tracking system for local petroleum products’ haulage
A new technology that could effectively enhance fuel logistics in the country may soon be introduced, courtesy of an initiative by some German investors. The German initiative is expected to compliment the current tracking system being used by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for petroleum products' haulage.
The technology is expected to be introduced into the country by the Netsach Limited in collaboration with Ibes AG of Germany. Speaking at a symposium organized by Netsach to find solutions to oil losses in the downstream sector, Prof. Reinhardt Nindel said logistics remained a major challenge in the supply value chain of Nigeria downstream sector.
He described new technology (SercAM) as a tracking system that ensures a combined tracking and security solutions with a web based Global Object Tracking System (GOTS) and sensor which check against theft, very manipulations of loaded and unloaded amount of liquid observation amongst other series of well developed features.
The Technical Director of Netsach Limited, Godson Samuels, while addressing issues in petroleum products transportation in Nigeria at the symposium, said that the country resorted to road transportation of petroleum products due to the activities of pipeline vandals.
He said major freight movements across the country are done using the road transportation, adding that its company has decided to partner with the German firm so as to find solution to help investors use the current option to take inventory and protect their assets.
"As a result of major pipeline issues, about 80 per cent of freight movements are done by road and there has been a steady growth in number of heavy goods vehicles. We have an average of about 5,000 tankers involved in wet cargo haulage to move about several million litres of fuel and 2,500 trailers in dry cargoes plying Nigeria roads daily," Samuels said.
He added that the current losses have lots of grave economic implications, which if unaddressed, could halt progress in the sector in the near future. "Adoption of reliable monitoring and reporting solution for petroleum products in transit is essential for success in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry", he said.
Samuels noted that improvement in technology, such as the tracking devices, would help the logistics of downstream petroleum products fine-tune their already existing quality management systems that could in the long and short run, enhance better margins on Product sales.
He called on the government to address the problems of poor road networks and also various hindrances such as delays at police, military, state revenue agency and customs check points that obstruct an effective and efficient logistics.
Analysts said haulage companies need to track their vehicles throughout each and every route in order to avoid unnecessary hold ups and keep clients abreast of any expected delays that may be unavoidable before they happen. According to Festus Oso, a transport expert, haulage companies are often delivering time critical supplies or equipment that has the ability to hold up a production or supply chain.
He said, ‘‘Most companies reliant on haulage companies to deliver crucial supplies such as building or construction materials, perishable items, parts or any other type of items of a time critical nature, will suffer financially for late deliveries and may be forced to pass on the financial penalty to the haulage company. Using state of the art vehicle tracking solutions can provide real time tracking up to a few seconds in accuracy and putting you fully in charge of where your haulage fleet go and notify drivers where you can see that they have diverted off of the intended route for some reason.
‘‘The amount of money that a haulage company spends on fuel is considerable and drivers that divert from their route for their own personal reasons can cost a company thousands of pounds over the course of a month. The latest GPS systems can be programmed to send an alert to your mobile phone and/or email address if a driver deviates from a preset route by more than a specified margin. Drivers who keep stopping unnecessarily may also be of interest to you, particularly if they leave the engine running.’’
Also, Charles Ukor, said that leaving haulage vehicle engines on during a delivery just to maintain a constant cabin temperature can amount to hours of unnecessary engine time which will not only impact significantly on fuel consumption, but also increase the wear and tear on vehicles. He added that vehicle tracking system reports will enable you to correct drivers who constantly leave their engines running and monitor their future behaviour.
‘‘Advanced vehicle tracking systems for haulage companies can help you to calculate payroll with the accurate number of hours that a driver is actually on company business and when they have stopped or begun to use the vehicle for personal reasons. The use of company vehicles, especially haulage trucks, for private deliveries can be effectively discouraged and exposed if they do occur.
‘‘Any type of claim against your fleet whether it be a claim of a late delivery or a no show can be verified with advanced vehicle tracking systems before contacting the driver. If one of your drivers claim that they were at a particular location at a specific time and the receiver was not present you can verify this immediately and contact the customer with confidence that you are not defending a dishonest driver.’’
He said that speeding causes accidents and increases fuel consumption dramatically, especially with large haulage vehicles adding that vehicle tracking systems will constantly monitor driver’s habits such as aggressive acceleration and braking sequences with special alerts for over acceleration, high revving and hard braking. He added that maintenance schedules can also be triggered automatically as well as if battery voltage drops below a certain level or if excessive temperatures are reached.